Programming Aggregate States of DNA Nanorods with Sub-10 nm Hydrophobic Patterns for Tunable Cell Entry

JACS Au. 2023 Mar 20;3(4):1004-1009. doi: 10.1021/jacsau.3c00097. eCollection 2023 Apr 24.


The intracellular application of DNA nanodevices is challenged by their inadequate cellular entry efficiency, which may be addressed by the development of amphiphilic DNA nanostructures. However, the impact of the spatial distribution of hydrophobicity in cell entry has not been fully explored. Here, we program a spectrum of amphiphilic DNA nanostructures displaying diverse sub-10 nm patterns of cholesterol, which result in distinct aggregate states in the aqueous solution and thus varied cell entry efficiencies. We find that the hydrophobic patterns can lead to discrete aggregate states, from monomers to low-number oligomers (n = 1-6). We demonstrate that the monomers or oligomers with moderate hydrophobic density are preferred for cell entry, with up to ∼174-fold improvement relative to unmodified ones. Our study provides a new clue for the rational design of amphiphilic DNA nanostructures for intracellular applications.

PMID:37124296 | PMC:PMC10131207 | DOI:10.1021/jacsau.3c00097


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