Selective enhancement of nucleases by polyvalent DNA-functionalized gold nanoparticles

Andrew E. Prigodich, Ali H. Alhasan, Chad A. Mirkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


We demonstrate that polyvalent DNA-functionalized gold nanoparticles (DNA-Au NPs) selectively enhance ribonuclease H (RNase H) activity while inhibiting most biologically relevant nucleases. This combination of properties is particularly interesting in the context of gene regulation, since high RNase H activity results in rapid mRNA degradation and general nuclease inhibition results in high biological stability. We have investigated the mechanism of selective RNase H activation and found that the high DNA density of DNA-Au NPs is responsible for this unusual behavior. This work adds to our understanding of polyvalent DNA-Au NPs as gene regulation agents and suggests a new model for selectively controlling protein-nanoparticle interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2120-2123
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 23 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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