DNA is a useful material for constructing nanoscale structures in nearly any three-dimensional shape desired. The DNA nanostructure can also be equipped with specific docking sites for proteins. Cellular processes and chemical transformations take place in several reaction steps. Multiple enzymes cooperate in specific fashion to catalyze the sequential chemical transformation steps. Such natural systems are effectively reconstructed in vitro if the individual enzymes locate in the correct relative orientations. DNA-origami structures can be used as ”molecular switchboards” to arrange enzymes and other proteins with nanometer-scale precision.
A new method was developed for locating the proteins by means of special ”adapters” known as zinc-finger proteins based only on proteins. Zinc fingers are suitable site-selective adapters for targeting specific locations within DNA-origami structures. Several different adapters carrying different proteins can independently bind at defined locations on this type of nanostructure (Figure).