Björn Högberg group

Our lab is studying receptor signaling and drug delivery using novel tools based on DNA nanotechnology.

Research focus

DNA nanotechnology, and more specifically DNA-origami, is a technique that allows us to rationally design nanoscale shapes with unprecedented resolution. In the resulting assemblies, we know the exact location of every DNA oligonucleotide. These oligos can be chemically conjugated to proteins, thus creating molecularly precise patterns and structures of proteins.

The spatial organization of membrane-bound ligands and receptors constitutes a critical physical cue in receptor-mediated signaling. However, direct regulation of recep­tor activation by nanoscale distribution of ligands has not been demonstrated previously. In recent research, our group has been focusing on DNA nanostructures decorated with ligands involved in cell–cell signaling and then using these rationally designed protein patterns to decipher and study membrane bound receptor-ligand signaling systems.

In addition, our group is also developing synthetic biology methods for protein evolution and enzymatic production of very high quality single-stranded DNA oligonucleotides using gene synthesis and single-stranded DNA bacteriophages. We are further actively pursuing basic technology development of DNA origami and related DNA nanostructure techniques. Our lab has demonstrated a new type of three dimensional polygonal DNA origami that are stable under physiological salt conditions.

Selected publications

Binding to nanopatterned antigens is dominated by the spatial tolerance of antibodies.
Shaw A, Hoffecker IT, Smyrlaki I, Rosa J, Grevys A, Bratlie D, et al
Nat Nanotechnol 2019 02;14(2):184-190

DNA rendering of polyhedral meshes at the nanoscale.
Benson E, Mohammed A, Gardell J, Masich S, Czeizler E, Orponen P, et al
Nature 2015 Jul;523(7561):441-4

Spatial control of membrane receptor function using ligand nanocalipers.
Shaw A, Lundin V, Petrova E, Fördős F, Benson E, Al-Amin A, et al
Nat. Methods 2014 Aug;11(8):841-6

Rolling circle replication requires single-stranded DNA binding protein to avoid termination and production of double-stranded DNA.
Ducani C, Bernardinelli G, Högberg B
Nucleic Acids Res. 2014 ;42(16):10596-604

Enzymatic production of 'monoclonal stoichiometric' single-stranded DNA oligonucleotides.
Ducani C, Kaul C, Moche M, Shih WM, Högberg B
Nat. Methods 2013 Jul;10(7):647-52

DNA origami delivery system for cancer therapy with tunable release properties.
Zhao YX, Shaw A, Zeng X, Benson E, Nyström AM, Högberg B
ACS Nano 2012 Oct;6(10):8684-91

Group members


Content reviewer:
Sara Lidman