Researchers in Japan have created a molecular padlock that can lock onto sections of DNA and be unlocked on command. The padlock obstructs DNA-cleaving enzymes and could potentially be used to halt gene transcription.
"Padlock probes can act as inhibitors to block the DNA-protein interaction required for transcriptional initiation"
- Kenzo Fujimoto
Reversible photopadlocking on double-stranded DNA
Kenzo Fujimoto, Shigeo Matsuda, Yoshinaga Yoshimura, Takehiro Ami and Isao Saito, Chem. Commun., 2007, 2968