NAR breakthrough article DNA-Assisted oligomerization of pore-forming toxin monomers into precisely-controlled protein channels

Anja Henning-Knechtel, Johann Knechtel, Mazin Magzoub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We have developed a novel approach for creating membrane-spanning protein-based pores. The construction principle is based on using well-defined, circular DNA nanostructures to arrange a precise number of pore-forming protein toxin monomers. We can thereby obtain, for the first time, protein pores with specifically set diameters. We demonstrate this principle by constructing artificial alpha-hemolysin (αHL) pores. The DNA/αHL hybrid nanopores composed of twelve, twenty or twenty-six monomers show stable insertions into lipid bilayers during electrical recordings, along with steady, pore sizedependent current levels. Our approach successfully advances the applicability of nanopores, in particular towards label-free studies of single molecules in large nanoscaled biological structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12057-12068
Number of pages12
JournalNucleic acids research
Issue number21
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

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