|Title||Binding of single stranded nucleic acids to cationic ligand functionalized gold nanoparticles|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2016|
|Authors||Nash, JA, Tucker, TL, Therriault, W, Yingling, YG|
|Keywords||DNA, Hydrogen bonding, Nanoparticles, Nonlinear acoustics, Solvents|
The interactions of nanoparticles (NPs) with single stranded nucleic acids (NAs) have important implications in gene delivery, and nanotechnological and biomedical applications. Here, the complexation of cationic ligand functionalized gold nanoparticles with single stranded deoxyribose nucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA) are examined using all atom molecular dynamics simulations. The results indicated that complexation depends mostly on charge of nanoparticle, and, to lesser extent, sequence and type of nucleic acid. For cationic nanoparticles, electrostatic interactions between charged ligands and the nucleic acid backbone dominate binding regardless of nanoparticle charge. Highly charged nanoparticles bind more tightly and cause compaction of the single-stranded NAs through disruption of intrastrand π–π stacking and hydrogen bonding. However, poly-purine strands (polyA-DNA, polyA-RNA) show less change in structure than poly-pyrimidine strands (polyT-DNA, polyU-RNA). Overall, the results show that control over ssNA structure may be achieved with cationic NPs with a charge of more than 30, but the extent of the structural changes depends on sequence.