Talk abstracts

Talk on Saturday 11:15-11:30am submitted by Tori Goldsworthy

Versatile RNA Tetra-U Helix Linking Motif as a Toolkit for Nucleic Acid Nanotechnology

Tori Goldsworthy (Department of Chemistry, , Ball State University ), My N. Bui, Zhihai Li, Emil F. Khisamutdinov (Department of Chemistry, Ball State University), M. Brittany Johnson, Angelica N. Martins, Ian Marriott (Department of Biology, University of North Carolina Charlotte ), Mathias Viard (Basic Science Program, Leidos Biomedical Research Inc., RNA Biology Laboratory, Frederik National Laboratory for Cancer Research ), Emily Satterwhite, Kirill Afonin (Department of Chemistry, University of North Carolina Charlotte )

RNA nanotechnology employs ribonucleic acid to engineer addressable nanostructures in one, two, and three dimensions, making it highly attractive for medical applications. Although RNA nanotechnology is an emerging field, the notion of RNA-nanoparticle (NP) production is no longer novel. Despite its advantages, RNA biomaterial is fragile and prone to enzymatic degradation. Herein, we demonstrate a RNA/DNA hybrid approach which uses a computer-assisted de novo RNA tetra-uracil (tetra-U) motif as a toolkit to overcome obstacles in RNA nanotechnology including simplicity, efficiency, versatility, stability, and the production costs of functional RNA nanoparticles. The tetra-U RNA motif was implemented to construct four functional triangles using RNA, DNA and RNA/DNA mixtures, resulting in fine-tunable enzymatic and thermodynamic stability, immunostimulatory activity and RNAi capability. Moreover, the tetra-U toolkit has great potential in the fabrication of rectangular, pentagonal, hexagonal and other polygonal NPs, representing the power of simplicity that is in high demand in RNA nanotechnology.

Keywords: nanoparticle