Tongji Research Group Made Great Progress On DNA Molecular Switches

Logical gates, composed of transistors, are the bases for performing logical operations on computers. In specific operations, two surges of currents flow through the logical gate and then issue “high” and “low” signals, which indicate the “true” and “false” in logical system or “0” and “1” in binary system respectively. What worthy of mentioning is that the molecular switch resembles the logical gates, which can transfer the stimulus input (for example, chemical signals, biological signals, electronic signals, and optical signals) into output. As a result, the principles of binary system can also be applied to the signal transfer of molecular switches to construct molecular logical gate, a critical element of molecular computing. Recently, Prof. Yao Tianming and associate Prof. Shi Shuo of Bioinorganic research group of Department of Chemistry, Tongji University, taking the RET proto-oncogene as the research basis, have constructed a logical network containing six logical gates with its basis on small molecule induced change of DNA conformation, and successfully cascaded the logical gates. In addition, they successfully set up the DNA-based lock and designed the DNA-based parity divider, which makes contributions to the gene diagnosis for diseases. The latest research is published in Chemical Science (IF=9.211) titled A RET-Supported Logic Gate Combinatorial Library to Enable Modeling and Implementation of Intelligent Logic Functions ( with Dr. Gao Ruru as the first author.



The polymorphism of DNA conformation is closely related to the pathological changes, in which the most notorious is malignant tumor or cancer. G-quadruplex is a special unit of secondary structure of DNA, and the DNA sequences that can conform G-quadruplex structure widely exist in critical areas of chromosomes, such as telomeres and promoter for oncogenes. Shi realized the controlled fluorescence switch for G-quadruplex DNA (Chem. Eur. J. 2015, 21, 13390 – 13400. (IF = 5.731) with metal coordination complexes, and achieved success in stereoselective recognition of parallel, antiparallel and mixed G-quadruplex DNA with chiral coordination compound (Chem. Eur. J. 2015, 21, 11435 – 11445.(IF = 5.731)), besides, he also explained the research and results with theoretical calculation (Dalton Trans., 2015, 44, 19264–19274.(IF= 4.197)).



In addition, the research group also successfully tested a series of biomolecules based on the changes of DNA conformation, aptamers and metal coordination compounds, such as anti-cancer drugs, Coralyne (Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 2015, 71, 439–444. (IF= 6.409)), histidine (Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 2015, 66, 103-108.(IF= 6.409)), anticoagulant molecule, Heparin (Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 2014, 55, 174-179. (IF= 6.409)) and Hg2+ (Scientific Reports, 2014, 4, 5320. (IF = 5.578)).




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