Dr Jonathan Berengut
Research Associate

Dr Jonathan Berengut

Medicine & Health
School of Medical Sciences

I am a researcher who works primarily in the field of DNA nanotechnology. We build things out of DNA. But I don’t mean this in the same way that most molecular biologists build things with DNA -where DNA codes for amino acids, which fold into proteins. I mean we use DNA as a physical building material to construct very very small (nanometre scale) structures. This is possible because DNA strands have a simple set of rules that determine how the individual nucleotides stick together; ‘A’ base-pairs with ‘T’, and ‘C’ with ‘G’. By carefully designing the sequences of single-stranded DNA, we can therefore control exactly how these strands come together to form the desired shape or structure. I use a particular technique called ‘DNA origami’, which uses hundreds of these short synthetic DNA strands to efficiently ‘fold’ a longer strand into a complex structure. These structures can be 2D or 3D and tend to be in the order of tens to hundreds of nanometres in size. The designs can be flexible or rigid, and can include pivots, hinges, and sequence-specific binding sites. Because of this, they’re often used as ‘nano-breadboards’ to spatially organise molecules like proteins and nanoparticles very precisely. This allows us to build stuff like multi-enzyme nanoreactors and plasmonic nanodevices. I’m also super interested in building DNA origami nanobots that assemble themselves into specific formations, which I hope will one day give us new methods of controlling matter at the nanoscale.

Lowy Cancer Research Centre Level 3
  • Journal articles | 2022
    Brown JWP; Alford RG; Walsh JC; Spinney RE; Xu SY; Hertel S; Berengut JF; Spenkelink LM; Van Oijen AM; Böcking T; Morris RG; Lee LK, 2022, 'Rapid Exchange of Stably Bound Protein and DNA Cargo on a DNA Origami Receptor', ACS Nano, vol. 16, pp. 6455 - 6467, http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.2c00699
    Journal articles | 2021
    Ji M; Williams TJ; Montgomery K; Wong HL; Zaugg J; Berengut JF; Bissett A; Chuvochina M; Hugenholtz P; Ferrari BC, 2021, 'Candidatus Eremiobacterota, a metabolically and phylogenetically diverse terrestrial phylum with acid-tolerant adaptations', ISME Journal, vol. 15, pp. 2692 - 2707, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41396-021-00944-8
    Journal articles | 2021
    Montgomery K; Williams TJ; Brettle M; Berengut JF; Zhang E; Zaugg J; Hugenholtz P; Ferrari BC, 2021, 'Persistence and resistance: survival mechanisms of Candidatus Dormibacterota from nutrient-poor Antarctic soils', Environmental Microbiology, vol. 23, pp. 4276 - 4294, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1462-2920.15610
    Journal articles | 2021
    Singh JKD; Luu MT; Berengut JF; Abbas A; Baker MAB; Wickham SFJ, 2021, 'Minimizing cholesterol-induced aggregation of membrane-interacting dna origami nanostructures', Membranes, vol. 11, pp. 950 - 950, http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/membranes11120950
    Journal articles | 2021
    Williams TJ; Allen MA; Berengut JF; Cavicchioli R, 2021, 'Shedding Light on Microbial “Dark Matter”: Insights Into Novel Cloacimonadota and Omnitrophota From an Antarctic Lake', Frontiers in Microbiology, vol. 12, pp. 741077, http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2021.741077
    Journal articles | 2020
    Berengut JF; Wong CK; Berengut JC; Doye JPK; Ouldridge TE; Lee LK, 2020, 'Self-Limiting Polymerization of DNA Origami Subunits with Strain Accumulation', ACS Nano, vol. 14, pp. 17428 - 17441, http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.0c07696
    Journal articles | 2019
    Baker M; Nieves D; Hilzenrat G; Berengut J; Gaus K; Lee L, 2019, 'Stoichiometric quantification of spatially dense assemblies with qPAINT', , http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/525345
    Journal articles | 2019
    Baker MAB; Nieves DJ; Hilzenrat G; Berengut JF; Gaus K; Lee LK, 2019, 'Stoichiometric quantification of spatially dense assemblies with qPAINT', Nanoscale, vol. 11, pp. 12460 - 12464, http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c9nr00472f
    Journal articles | 2019
    Berengut JF; Berengut JC; Doye JPK; Prešern D; Kawamoto A; Ruan J; Wainwright MJ; Lee LK, 2019, 'Design and synthesis of pleated DNA origami nanotubes with adjustable diameters', Nucleic Acids Research, vol. 47, pp. 11963 - 11975, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkz1056
    Journal articles | 2018
    Baker MAB; Tuckwell AJ; Berengut JF; Bath J; Benn F; Duff AP; Whitten AE; Dunn KE; Hynson RM; Turberfield AJ; Lee LK, 2018, 'Dimensions and Global Twist of Single-Layer DNA Origami Measured by Small-Angle X-ray Scattering', ACS Nano, vol. 12, pp. 5791 - 5799, http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.8b01669
    Journal articles | 2016
    Milligan MJ; Harvey E; Yu A; Morgan AL; Smith DL; Zhang E; Berengut J; Sivananthan J; Subramaniam R; Skoric A; Collins S; Damski C; Morris KV; Lipovich L, 2016, 'Global intersection of long non-coding RNAs with processed and unprocessed pseudogenes in the human genome', Frontiers in Genetics, vol. 7, http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2016.00026
  • Preprints | 2022
    Brown JWP; Alford R; Walsh J; Spinney R; Xu S; Hertel S; Berengut J; Spenkelink L; van Oijen A; Böcking T; Morris R; Lee L, 2022, Rapid exchange of stably bound protein and DNA cargo on a DNA origami receptor, http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2022.01.16.476526
    Preprints | 2022
    Wintersinger CM; Minev D; Ershova A; Sasaki HM; Gowri G; Berengut JF; Corea-Dilbert FE; Yin P; Shih WM, 2022, Multi-micron crisscross structures from combinatorially assembled DNA-origami slats, http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2022.01.06.475243
    Conference Papers | 2017
    Baker MA; Tuckwell AJ; Berengut JF; Bath J; Benn F; Duff AP; Whitten AE; Dunn KE; Hynson RM; Turberfield AJ; Lee LK, 2017, 'DNA origami dimensions and structure measured by solution X-ray scattering', in EUROPEAN BIOPHYSICS JOURNAL WITH BIOPHYSICS LETTERS, SPRINGER, British Biophys Soc, Edinburgh, SCOTLAND, pp. S137 - S137, presented at 19th IUPAB Congress / 11th EBSA Congress, British Biophys Soc, Edinburgh, SCOTLAND, 16 July 2017 - 20 July 2017, https://www.webofscience.com/api/gateway?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000416406200296&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a29b250adbe88d1
    Preprints |
    Berengut JF; Ruan J; Kawamoto A; Lee LK, Design and Synthesis of Pleated DNA Origami Nanotubes with Adjustable Diameters, http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/534792