l-DNA-Based Catalytic Hairpin Assembly Circuit
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Isothermal, enzyme-free amplification methods based on DNA strand-displacement reactions show great promise for applications in biosensing and disease diagnostics but operating such systems within biological environments remains extremely challenging due to the susceptibility of DNA to nuclease degradation. Here, we report a catalytic hairpin assembly (CHA) circuit constructed from nuclease-resistant l-DNA that is capable of unimpeded signal amplification in the presence of 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS). The superior biostability of the l-DNA CHA circuit relative to its native d-DNA counterpart was clearly demonstrated through a direct comparison of the two systems (d versus l) under various conditions. Importantly, we show that the l-CHA circuit can be sequence-specifically interfaced with an endogenous d-nucleic acid biomarker via an achiral peptide nucleic acid (PNA) intermediary, enabling catalytic detection of the target in FBS. Overall, this work establishes a blueprint for the detection of low-abundance nucleic acids in harsh biological environments and provides further impetus for the construction of DNA nanotechnology using l-oligonucleotides.
author list (cited authors)
Kabza, A. M., & Sczepanski, J. T.