Inhibition of DNA transcription using cationic mixed monolayer protected gold clusters

Catherine M. McIntosh, Edward A. Esposito, III, Andrew K. Boal, Joseph M. Simard, Craig T. Martin, & Vincent M. Rotello, J. Am. Chem. Soc.123, 7626-7629, 2001

Efficient recognition of DNA is a prerequisite for the development of biological effectors, including transcription and translation regulators, transfection vectors, and DNA sensors. To provide an effective scaffold for multivalent interactions with DNA, we have fabricated mixed monolayer protected gold clusters (MMPCs) functionalized with tetraalkylammonium ligands that can interact with the DNA backbone via charge complementarity. Binding studies indicate that the MMPCs and DNA form a charge neutralized, nonaggregated assembly. The interactions controlling these assemblies are highly efficient, completely inhibiting transcription by T7 RNA polymerase in vitro.