Design, optimization and analysis of large DNA and RNA nanostructures through interactive visualization, editing and molecular simulation

Erik Poppleton, Joakim Bohlin, Michael Matthies, Shuchi Sharma, Fei Zhang, Petr Šulc

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This work seeks to remedy two deficiencies in the current nucleic acid nanotechnology software environment: the lack of both a fast and user-friendly visualization tool and a standard for structural analyses of simulated systems. We introduce here oxView, a web browser-based visualizer that can load structures with over 1 million nucleotides, create videos from simulation trajectories, and allow users to perform basic edits to DNA and RNA designs. We additionally introduce open-source software tools for extracting common structural parameters to characterize large DNA/RNA nanostructures simulated using the coarse-grained modeling tool, oxDNA, which has grown in popularity in recent years and is frequently used to prototype new nucleic acid nanostructural designs, model biophysics of DNA/RNA processes, and rationalize experimental results. The newly introduced software tools facilitate the computational characterization of DNA/RNA designs by providing multiple analysis scripts, including mean structures and structure flexibility characterization, hydrogen bond fraying, and interduplex angles. The output of these tools can be loaded into oxView, allowing users to interact with the simulated structure in a 3D graphical environment and modify the structures to achieve the required properties. We demonstrate these newly developed tools by applying them to design and analysis of a range of DNA/RNA nanostructures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e72
JournalNucleic acids research
Volume48
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 9 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

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