DNA-templated self-assembly of nanomaterials provides great potential for applications including biosensors, nanoelectronics, and programmable and autonomous molecular machines. To switch or regulate the activities of those nanobiotechnological devices, non-invasive methods to assemble and disassemble specific nanoscale components are needed. Here, we describe photocontrol of assembly of DNA-templated protein arrays in solution, by using photo-controlled duplex formation of oligonucleotides carrying azobenzene. As a proof of concept prototype, we designed a one-dimensional protein array system that consists of a scaffold of DNA and two kinds of anchor DNA that were conjugated with fluorescent proteins (CFP and YFP, respectively). The scaffold DNA was modified to carry multiple azobenzene side chains so that the hybridization involving the scaffold DNA is regulated by photoirradiation through conformational changes of the azobenzene moieties. Melting temperatures of duplex made of the modified DNA scaffold and an anchor oligonucleotide were shifted significantly and reversibly by UV and visible photoirradiation (difference of Tm was 34.8°C in 150mM potassium acetate). Measurements of Förster resonance energy transfer between CFP and YFP showed that the assembly of the protein array system was also changed by photoirradiation. Such non-invasive and reversible method to control assembly/ disassembly of multiple, specific proteins in a DNAtemplated protein array system would provide many functions for nanobiotechnological devices such as on/off switches and the ability to change the configuration reversibly.
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