A Unidirectional DNA Walker That Moves Autonomously along a Track


  • This work was supported by a grant from the NSF (EIA-0218359) to H.Y. and J.H.R., by NSF ITR grants EIA-0086015 and CCR-0326157, and by DARPA/AFSOR Contract F30602-01-2-0561.


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There's no turning back for an autonomous DNA walker that moves along a self-assembled track, driven by the hydrolysis of ATP. The track contains three anchorages (A, B, C) at which the walker (★), a six-nucleotide DNA fragment, can be bound (see figure). The motion of the walker is unidirectional. At each step it is ligated to the next anchorage, then cut from the previous one by a restriction endonuclease.