Research Topic

Supramolecular Nucleic Acid Chemistry

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About this Research Topic

The reversible and noncovalent nature of the interactions governing the structure and binding properties of nucleic acids mean that the fields of supramolecular chemistry and nucleic acid chemistry are closely intertwined. Indeed, the high fidelity and programmable molecular recognition properties of DNA have ...

The reversible and noncovalent nature of the interactions governing the structure and binding properties of nucleic acids mean that the fields of supramolecular chemistry and nucleic acid chemistry are closely intertwined. Indeed, the high fidelity and programmable molecular recognition properties of DNA have long been the source of inspiration to many a supramolecular chemist in designing molecular assemblies that are both discrete in shape and dynamic in nature. However at the same time, researchers working in the field of nucleic acids can draw inspiration and rationale from concepts and approaches that are rooted in supramolecular chemistry. For example, many themes central to supramolecular chemistry such as sensing, switching, self-assembly, catalysis and molecular motion can be successfully applied to nucleic acid systems.


The aim of this Research Topic is to bring together cutting-edge original research articles and reviews on nucleic acid chemistry that , where possible, focus on and highlight the synergies and links with supramolecular chemistry. The collection will include a focus on:

• modified nucleic acids with novel functional or recognition elements that can engender new properties or features (e.g. electronic, photonic or dynamic)

• systems that probe or sense non-biological or biological targets (including proteins and natural nucleic acids)

• systems that respond to external stimuli including light, (bio)molecular inputs, and redox processes for gaining orthogonal control of their properties

• the role of nucleic acids and their derivatives in catalysed reactions, be they enzymatic or abiotic processes

• fundamental interactions within nucleic acids and their derivatives, for example the role of metals or other non-natural groups in affecting nucleic acid structure, stability and function.

In summary, this Research Topic will highlight how the fields of nucleic acids and supramolecular chemistry can be imbricated to generate unique and functional systems capable, in the long-term, of addressing topical issues in materials, medicine, and energy.


Keywords: supramolecular, nucleic acids, DNA, self-assembly, molecular assemblies


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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