Instead, oligomer tubes and 1D chains of arrays
were observed (Fig. 4H and fig. S39). This behavior differs from that of a previous work in
which an origami tube design formed two isomers
in one-pot assembly (49). This is likely because
the addition of more green triggers should favor interarray connections over intra-array connections, owing to the increased rigidity (it is
harder to bend the green array conformation).
With six green triggers, the assembly resulted
in red-conformation oligomer tubes and 1D chains.
When 10 green triggers were added to the middle
of the array, the assembly produced mostly oligo-
mer 1D chains with mixed red and green con-
formations. When 11 green triggers were added
to one side of the array, assembly resulted in
green-conformation 1D chains.
Our work has demonstrated a general strategy
for the construction of large DNA relay arrays
with interconnected modular structural com-
ponents. Each component is a dynamic unit
that can transfer its structural information
to neighboring components. Through the study
of these DNA relay arrays, we have demon-
strated controlled, multistep, long-range trans-
formation of the DNA arrays. This dynamic
behavior can be regulated by the shapes and
sizes of arrays, by external factors (e.g., temper-
ature), by the initiation of transformation at
selected units, and by the information propaga-
A next step would be to extend the DNA relay
arrays to 3D spaces, larger sizes, more intricately
shaped designs, and more complex dynamic
Song et al., Science 357, eaan3377 (2017) 28 July 2017 6 of 8
A-1 A-2 A-3 A-4 A-5
B-1 B-2 B-3 B-4 B-5
= Locked Unit
Fig. 4. Controlled transformation of DNA-origami relay arrays. (A) Control
of the initiation of transformation via selection addition of green triggers
(B) The transformation pathways can be blocked and resumed by the
removal and addition of units. (C) The transformation can be blocked at
any designated location. (D) Blocking of transformation pathways via
“lock” strands. (E) Control of the transformation pathway using shape
design. (F) Transformation of a closed design is more cooperative. A stable
conformation in which all units are partially open was observed at 40°C.
(G) Real-time AFM images of transformation from the red array
conformation tube to the mixed array conformation tube (A-1 to A-5), and
from the mixed array conformation tube to the green array conformation
tube (B-1 to B-5). (H) Addition of green triggers in one-pot assembly
reduced, and eventually eliminated, the red array tube formation.
Scale bars, 50 nm.