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Assembly of DNA 'parts' to create larger constructs is an essential enabling technique for bioengineering and synthetic biology. Here we describe a simple method, PaperClip, which allows flexible assembly of multiple DNA parts from currently existing libraries cloned in any vector. No restriction enzymes, mutagenesis of internal restriction sites, or reamplification to add end homology are required. Order of assembly is directed by double stranded oligonucleotides-'Clips'. Clips are formed by ligation of pairs of oligonucleotides corresponding to the ends of each part. PaperClip assembly can be performed by polymerase chain reaction or by cell extract-mediated recombination. Once multi-use Clips have been prepared, assembly of at least six DNA parts in any order can be accomplished with high efficiency within several hours.
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