Self-assembly of nucleotides of fewer than three base pairs is often found in protein-nucleotide conjugations, despite their energetic instability, and is regarded as the potential starting point for the creation of artificial hydrogen-bonded supramolecular complexes. Here we report duplex formation of 3-mer DNA fragments confined within silica mesopores modified with a positively charged trimethyl aminopropyl monolayer, and their further stabilization under supercooled conditions (T<273K). We load 3-mer DNA fragments with donor- or acceptor-dye into modified silica mesopores and examine their hybridization behaviours using FRET measurements. The FRET results clearly reveal that efficient duplex formation through at least two A-T base pairs can be achieved at 233K. Enthalpy changes for duplex formation are found to be nearly equal between complementary and single-mismatched 3-mer DNA duplexes. These results confirm confined mesoscale cavities to be a novel low-temperature reaction space for hydrogen-bonded supramolecular complexes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)