Protein-driven RNA nanostructured devices that function in vitro and control mammalian cell fate

Tomonori Shibata, Yoshihiko Fujita, Hirohisa Ohno, Yuki Suzuki, Karin Hayashi, Kaoru R. Komatsu, Shunsuke Kawasaki, Kumi Hidaka, Shin Yonehara, Hiroshi Sugiyama, Masayuki Endo, Hirohide Saito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Nucleic acid nanotechnology has great potential for future therapeutic applications. However, the construction of nanostructured devices that control cell fate by detecting and amplifying protein signals has remained a challenge. Here we design and build protein-driven RNA-nanostructured devices that actuate in vitro by RNA-binding-protein-inducible conformational change and regulate mammalian cell fate by RNA-protein interaction-mediated protein assembly. The conformation and function of the RNA nanostructures are dynamically controlled by RNA-binding protein signals. The protein-responsive RNA nanodevices are constructed inside cells using RNA-only delivery, which may provide a safe tool for building functional RNA-protein nanostructures. Moreover, the designed RNA scaffolds that control the assembly and oligomerization of apoptosis-regulatory proteins on a nanometre scale selectively kill target cells via specific RNA-protein interactions. These findings suggest that synthetic RNA nanodevices could function as molecular robots that detect signals and localize target proteins, induce RNA conformational changes, and programme mammalian cellular behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Article number540
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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