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Isothermal folding of a light-up bio-orthogonal RNA origami nanoribbon

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Emanuela Torelli, Dr Jurek Kozyra, Dr Jingying Gu, Professor Ulrich Stimming, Professor Natalio KrasnogorORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2018 The Author(s). RNA presents intringuing roles in many cellular processes and its versatility underpins many different applications in synthetic biology. Nonetheless, RNA origami as a method for nanofabrication is not yet fully explored and the majority of RNA nanostructures are based on natural pre-folded RNA. Here we describe a biologically inert and uniquely addressable RNA origami scaffold that self-assembles into a nanoribbon by seven staple strands. An algorithm is applied to generate a synthetic De Bruijn scaffold sequence that is characterized by the lack of biologically active sites and repetitions larger than a predetermined design parameter. This RNA scaffold and the complementary staples fold in a physiologically compatible isothermal condition. In order to monitor the folding, we designed a new split Broccoli aptamer system. The aptamer is divided into two nonfunctional sequences each of which is integrated into the 5′ or 3′ end of two staple strands complementary to the RNA scaffold. Using fluorescence measurements and in-gel imaging, we demonstrate that once RNA origami assembly occurs, the split aptamer sequences are brought into close proximity forming the aptamer and turning on the fluorescence. This light-up 'bio-orthogonal' RNA origami provides a prototype that can have potential for in vivo origami applications.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Torelli E, Kozyra JW, Gu J-Y, Stimming U, Piantanida L, Voitchovsky K, Krasnogor N

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Scientific Reports

Year: 2018

Volume: 8

Online publication date: 03/05/2018

Acceptance date: 12/04/2018

Date deposited: 04/06/2018

ISSN (electronic): 2045-2322

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-25270-6


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