Loading and unloading of molecular cargo by DNA-conjugated microtubule

Shu Taira, Yong Zhong Du, Yuich Hiratsuka, Taro Q.P. Uyeda, Noboru Yumoto, Masato Kodaka*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


We developed a novel method to load and unload molecular cargos to and from microtubules (MTs) that move on kinesin-coated surfaces. Quantum dots (Qds) (molecular cargo) connected to 21-mer DNA can be selectively loaded on DNA-conjugated MTs through DNA hybridization. The average velocity of the Qd-loaded MTs (0.43 ± 0.06 μm s-1 at 25°C) was comparable to that of control MTs. In addition, MTs conjugated with two types DNA sequences can achieve multiloading of Qds. To unload Qd molecular cargos from MTs, the DNA double helix connecting Qds to MTs were cleaved by an appropriate restriction enzyme. This biomolecular motors-based transport system should enable us to construct nanometer-scale devices such as nanobiosensor, nanofluidic system, or nanomachine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)734-739
Number of pages6
JournalBiotechnology and bioengineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Feb 15
Externally publishedYes


  • DNA hybridization
  • Microtubule-kinesin pair
  • Nanobiomachine
  • Quantum dots
  • Restriction enzymes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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