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Double-degradable responsive self-assembled multivalent arrays-temporary nanoscale recognition between dendrons and DNA

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  • A. Barnard
  • P. Posocco
  • M. Fermeglia
  • A. Tschiche
  • Marcelo Calderon
  • S. Pricl
  • D.K. Smith


Publication details

JournalOrganic and Biomolecular Chemistry
DateE-pub ahead of print - 22 Nov 2013
DatePublished (current) - 21 Jan 2014
Issue number3
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)446-455
Early online date22/11/13
Original languageEnglish


This article reports self-assembling dendrons which bind DNA in a multivalent manner. The molecular design directly impacts on self-assembly which subsequently controls the way these multivalent nanostructures bind DNA-this can be simulated by multiscale modelling. Incorporation of an S-S linkage between the multivalent hydrophilic dendron and the hydrophobic units responsible for self-assembly allows these structures to undergo triggered reductive cleavage, with dithiothreitol (DTT) inducing controlled breakdown, enabling the release of bound DNA. As such, the high-affinity self-assembled multivalent binding is temporary. Furthermore, because the multivalent dendrons are constructed from esters, a second slow degradation step causes further breakdown of these structures. This two-step double-degradation mechanism converts a large self-assembling unit with high affinity for DNA into small units with no measurable binding affinity-demonstrating the advantage of self-assembled multivalency (SAMul) in achieving highly responsive nanoscale binding of biological targets.

Bibliographical note

© Royal Society of Chemistry 2014. This is an author produced version of a paper accepted for publication in Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.

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