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Pure Appl. Chem., 2005, Vol. 77, No. 12, pp. 2133-2148

Supramolecular assemblies with DNA* (Special Topic Article)

Philippe Barthélémy1, Stephen J. Lee2 and Mark Grinstaff3

1 Faculté des Sciences d'Avignon 33, rue Louis Pasteur, F-84000 Avignon, France
2 Army Research Office, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA
3 Departments of Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering, Metcalf Center for Science and Engineering, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, USA

Abstract: Information storage in chemical and biological systems involves recognition processes occurring at the molecular and macromolecular level. The implementation of a "code" can consist of multiple noncovalent interactions, which include hydrogen bonds, π-stacking, hydrophobic interactions, and appropriate molecular and supramolecular architectures. With the double-helical DNA structure stabilized by Watson-Crick hydrogen bond base-pairing and aryl π-π stacking interactions, nature provides to scientists an example of one of the most sophisticated supramolecular systems. Molecular organization using these types of processes has become a very powerful strategy for the construction of well-defined nanostructures. Self-assemblies using noncovalent interactions have been designed to build fibers, membranes, two-dimensional monolayers, hydro, organo gels, etc. This paper highlights the research presented at the workshop entitled DNA Supramolecular Assemblies, which was held in Avignon, France on 5-6 May 2004. In this article, we first focus on the recent progress achieved in the design of supramolecular self-assemblies that mimic the molecular recognition functionalities found with nucleic acids. Second, we present several synthetic-DNA supramolecular assemblies currently developed to transport nucleic acids into cells. The marriage of supramolecular chemistry with nucleic acids as illustrated through examples in this article will open new avenues for designing artificial molecular devices and expand the current repertoire of supramolecular assemblies available.