Nucleic acid enzymes: The fusion of self-assembly and conformational computing

E. Ramlan, Klaus Peter Zauner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Macromolecules are the predominant physical substrate supporting information processing in organisms. Two key characteristics-conformational dynamics and self-assembly properties-render macromolecules unique in this context. Both characteristics have been investigated for technical applications. In nature's information processors self-assembly and conformational switching commonly appear in combination and are typically realised with proteins. At the current state of biotechnology the best candidates for implementing artifical molecular information process-ing systems that utilise the combination self-assembly and conformational switching are functional nucleic acids. The increasingly realised preva-lence of oligonucleotides in intracellular control points towards potential applications. The present paper reviews approaches to integrating the self-assembly and the conformational paradigm with allosterically controlled nucleic acid enzymes. It also introduces a new computational workflow to design functional nucleic acids for information processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-189
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Unconventional Computing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Dec 2009


  • Allosteric control
  • Deoxyribozymes
  • Logic gates
  • Molecular computing
  • Ribozymes


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