Home / Linux / DNA Geometry with cadnano | Linux Journal

DNA Geometry with cadnano | Linux Journal

DNA Geometry with cadnano | Linux Journal

This article introduces a software you should use to work on three-dimensional DNA origami. The package deal is named cadnano, and it is presently
being developed on the Wyss Institute. With this package deal, you may be
capable of assemble and manipulate the three-dimensional representations
of DNA constructions, in addition to generate publication-quality graphics of
your work.

Because this software program is research-based, you will not seemingly discover
it within the package deal repository to your favorite distribution, through which
you may want to put in it from the GitHub

Since cadnano is a Python
program, written to make use of the Qt framework, you may want to put in
some packages first. For instance, in Debian-based distributions, you may
wish to run the next instructions:

sudo apt-get set up python3 python3-pip

I discovered that set up was a bit tough, so I created a digital Python
atmosphere to handle module installations.

Once you are in your activated
virtualenv, set up the required Python modules with the

pip3 set up pythreejs termcolor pytz pandas pyqt5 sip

After these dependencies are put in, seize the supply code with
the command:

git clone https://github.com/cadnano/cadnano2.5.git

This will seize the Qt5 model. The Qtfour model is within the repository

Changing listing into the
supply listing, you possibly can construct and set up cadnano with:

python setup.py set up

Now your cadnano must be accessible inside the virtualenv.

You can begin cadnano just by executing the cadnano
command from
a terminal window. You’ll see an primarily clean
workspace, made up of a number of empty view panes and an empty inspector
pane on the far right-hand facet.


Figure 1. When you first begin cadnano, you get a totally
clean work area.

In order to stroll by means of just a few of
the features accessible in cadnano, let’s create
a six-strand nanotube. The first step is to create a background that
you should use to construct upon. At the highest of the principle window, you may discover
three buttons within the toolbar that can allow you to create a “Freeform”,
“Honeycomb” or “Square” framework. For this instance,
click on the honeycomb button.


Figure 2. Start your development with one of many
accessible geometric frameworks.

You would possibly discover that the
preliminary rendering of the framework just isn’t excellent for additional work. You
can zoom out and in utilizing your mouse wheel inside the view pane of
curiosity. You’ll additionally discover that the Create button within the toolbar
is chosen, which means you are are prepared to start out including DNA
strands. Beginning on the nearest circle to the middle, positioned simply
above the middle, and going counterclockwise, click on on the six circles
across the heart level.


Figure three. Start by creating an association of DNA strands to
outline your origami construction.

These six strands now might be
numbered from zero to five, going counterclockwise across the heart level. This
illustration is what you’d see by your nanotube edge-on,
as if it had been lower throughout its thickness. The inspector pane on the
far proper facet now accommodates entries for six digital helices. A brand new pane
may have opened on the backside right-hand facet, the place you possibly can see detailed
properties for the chosen entry from the inspector pane.

At this level, you possibly can zoom in on a selected pane to do
additional work. At the highest right-hand facet of the toolbar, you may
see three icons for the varied accessible views. Click
the “Toggle Slice” button in order that it goes away and the Path viewer
pane turns into the principle pane.


Figure four. You can choose a single viewer pane and zoom in on the
DNA construction to do extra detailed design work.

In this view, you possibly can design
your strands, breaks and crossovers in larger element. Clicking and
dragging on a selected strand will outline sections of scaffolding,
the place different DNA segments might be hooked up. You’ll see a brand new oligo entry
within the inspector pane. You can add a DNA sequence by clicking the “Seq”
button within the toolbar. Now whenever you click on on a bit within the diagram,
cadnano will pop up a brand new window the place you possibly can both choose from one among
the predefined DNA segments or insert a customized one.


Figure 5. You can add DNA segments to the scaffolding you have
constructed inside your strands.

can introduce breaks by clicking the “Break” icon within the toolbar, and
then clicking on the part of scaffolding the place you wish to introduce
the break. Continue repeating these steps to construct your total origami

When you might have constructed a system, you may wish to save all of this
work. Click File→Save As to avoid wasting your
work and provides it a filename. Cadnano makes use of JSON because the file format
for the constructions inside your system. This means you simply can look
on the file and even make handbook adjustments if wanted. You can also export
the DNA sequences themselves by clicking the Export button within the
toolbar. This writes the sequences out as a CSV file of every section. You
then can use this in different genomics software program. Another technique to save your
work is to click on the SVG button within the toolbar, which generates an
picture file in SVG format that you simply then can use in publications or stories.

Although I have been describing utilizing the GUI supplied with cadnano,
that is not the
solely technique to play with DNA origami. cadnano was written to behave as a
customary Python module, which implies you could import cadnano into your
personal Python code and use it to create and manipulate your DNA constructions
programmatically. This makes most sense in instances whenever you’ll
be producing a lot of techniques, or when you’re making extra
difficult techniques which might be tough to create utilizing a mouse and a
GUI. A fundamental boilerplate seems like the next:

import cadnano
from cadnano.doc import Document
app = cadnano.app()
doc = app.doc = Document()
half = doc.livelyPart()

This boilerplate code creates a brand new app, after which a brand new Document inside
the app. The Document object accommodates all the pieces to your DNA origami
construction. The fifth line reads in a JSON file that accommodates the construction
that you simply wished to govern. The final line will get the dad or mum Part object
that accommodates all the different components, strands crossovers and so forth. You
can also use this Python module to create utterly new techniques that you simply
can save for later use.

Hopefully, this brief article reveals you a little bit of the performance
accessible with cadnano. Because it’s used as analysis
software program and developed as such, it will not be as closely labored on as
different tasks. But, if genomics and constructing DNA constructions is a part of
your work, cadnano is certainly an excellent place to start out.

See the cadnano
for extra particulars.

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