Environment-Dependent Stability and Mechanical Properties of DNA Origami Six-Helix Bundles with Different Crossover Spacings

Yang Xin, Petteri Piskunen, Antonio Suma, Changyong Li, Heini Ijäs, Sofia Ojasalo, Iris Seitz, Mauri A. Kostiainen, Guido Grundmeier, Veikko Linko*, Adrian Keller*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
83 Downloads (Pure)


The internal design of DNA nanostructures defines how they behave in different environmental conditions, such as endonuclease-rich or low-Mg2+ solutions. Notably, the inter-helical crossovers that form the core of such DNA objects have a major impact on their mechanical properties and stability. Importantly, crossover design can be used to optimize DNA nanostructures for target applications, especially when developing them for biomedical environments. To elucidate this, two otherwise identical DNA origami designs are presented that have a different number of staple crossovers between neighboring helices, spaced at 42- and 21- basepair (bp) intervals, respectively. The behavior of these structures is then compared in various buffer conditions, as well as when they are exposed to enzymatic digestion by DNase I. The results show that an increased number of crossovers significantly improves the nuclease resistance of the DNA origami by making it less accessible to digestion enzymes but simultaneously lowers its stability under Mg2+-free conditions by reducing the malleability of the structures. Therefore, these results represent an important step toward rational, application-specific DNA nanostructure design.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2107393
Number of pages9
Issue number18
Early online date1 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • DNA nanotechnology
  • endonucleases
  • magnesium
  • persistence length
  • stability


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