Logic gates and antisense DNA devices operating on a translator nucleic acid scaffold

Bella Shlyahovsky, Yang Li, Oleg Lioubashevski, Johann Elbaz, Itamar Willner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A series of logic gates, "AND", "OR", and "XOR", are designed using a DNA scaffold that includes four "footholds" on which the logic operations are activated. Two of the footholds represent input-recognition strands, and these are blocked by complementary nucleic acids, whereas the other two footholds are blocked by nucleic acids that include the horseradish peroxidase (HRP)-mimicking DNAzyme sequence. The logic gates are activated by either nucleic acid inputs that hybridize to the respective "footholds", or by low-molecular-weight inputs (adenosine monophosphate or cocaine) that yield the respective aptamersubstrate complexes. This results in the respective translocation of the blocking nucleic acids to the footholds carrying the HRP-mimicking DNAzyme sequence, and the concomitant release of the respective DNAzyme. The released product-strands then self-assemble into the hemin/G-quadruplex-HRP-mimicking DNAzyme that biocatalyzes the formation of a colored product and provides an output signal for the different logic gates.The principle of the logic operation is, then, implemented as a possible paradigm for future nanomedicine. The nucleic acid inputs that bind to the blocked footholds result in the translocation of the blocking nucleic acids to the respective footholds carrying the antithrombin aptamer. The released aptamer inhibits, then, the hydrolytic activity of thrombin. The system demonstrates the regulation of a biocatalytic reaction by a translator system activated on a DNA scaffold.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1831-1843
Number of pages13
JournalACS Nano
Issue number7
StatePublished - 28 Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Aptamer
  • DNA
  • DNAzyme
  • Logic gate
  • Nanomedicine
  • Thrombin


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