5 years ago

Unique Thermal Stability of Unnatural Hydrophobic Ds Bases in Double-Stranded DNAs

Unique Thermal Stability of Unnatural Hydrophobic Ds Bases in Double-Stranded DNAs
Michiko Kimoto, Ichiro Hirao
Genetic alphabet expansion technology, the introduction of unnatural bases or base pairs into replicable DNA, has rapidly advanced as a new synthetic biology area. A hydrophobic unnatural base pair between 7-(2-thienyl)imidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (Ds) and 2-nitro-4-propynylpyrrole (Px) exhibited high fidelity as a third base pair in PCR. SELEX methods using the Ds–Px pair enabled high-affinity DNA aptamer generation, and introducing a few Ds bases into DNA aptamers extremely augmented their affinities and selectivities to target proteins. Here, to further scrutinize the functions of this highly hydrophobic Ds base, the thermal stabilities of double-stranded DNAs (dsDNA) containing a noncognate Ds–Ds or G–Ds pair were examined. The thermal stability of the Ds–Ds self-pair was as high as that of the natural G–C pair, and apart from the generally higher stability of the G–C pair than that of the A–T pair, most of the 5′-pyrimidine-Ds-purine-3′ sequences, such as CDsA and TDsA, exhibited higher stability than the 5′-purine-Ds-pyrimidine-3′ sequences, such as GDsC and ADsC, in dsDNAs. This trait enabled the GC-content-independent control of the thermal stability of the designed dsDNA fragments. The melting temperatures of dsDNA fragments containing the Ds–Ds pair can be predicted from the nearest-neighbor parameters including the Ds base. In addition, the noncognate G–Ds pair can efficiently distinguish its neighboring cognate natural base pairs from noncognate pairs. We demonstrated that real-time PCR using primers containing Ds accurately detected a single-nucleotide mismatch in target DNAs. These unique properties of the Ds base that affect the stabilities of the neighboring base pairs could impart new functions to DNA molecules and technologies.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acssynbio.7b00165

DOI: 10.1021/acssynbio.7b00165

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