Nucleic Acids Enzymes: The Fusion of Self-assembly and Conformational Computing

E. Ramlan, Klaus Peter Zauner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


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 processing systems that utilise the combination self-assembly and conformational switching are functional nucleic acids. The increasingly realised prevalence of oligonucleotides in intracellular control points towards potential applications. The present paper reviews approaches to integrating the selfassembly 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
Title of host publicationUnconventional Computing 2007
EditorsAndrew Adamatzky, Larry Bull, Benjamin De Lacy Costello, Susan Stepney, Christof Teuscher
Place of PublicationFrome BA11 6TT United Kingdom
PublisherLuniver Press
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)978-1905986057
ISBN (Print)190598605X
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Jun 2007


  • Molecular computing
  • RNA
  • DNA
  • Allosteric nucleic acids
  • Ribozymes


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