DNA-Directed Assembly of Polyanilines: Modified Cytosine Nucleotides Transfer Sequence Programmability to a Conjoined Polymer


A series of polyaniline (PANI) oligomers was constructed from monomer units covalently linked to duplex DNA through N-(2-aminoethyl) groups bonded through cytosines. DNA oligomers containing the aniline monomers were treated with horseradish peroxidase (HRP) and H2O2 under conditions known to cause polymerization of aniline. No change in the absorption spectrum of the DNA was observed for samples containing fewer than four contiguous aniline groups. However, for oligomers containing four, five, or six aniline units, treatment with HRP and H2O2 led to the appearance of absorption features characteristic of the conducting "proton doped" emeraldine oxidation state of PANI. Molecular modeling shows that the DNA is distorted in the region of the PANI, but flanking regions of the DNA maintain their B-form structure. These findings provide a method to exploit the self-recognition, self-assembly, and sequence programmability of DNA for the formation of conducting polymers.


Chemistry and Biochemistry

Document Type





plastics, genetics, monomers, oligomers, polymers

Publication Date


Journal Title

Journal of the American Chemical Society