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Schneider U.V.,QuantiBact Inc | Geci I.,University of Southern Denmark | Johnk N.,QuantiBact Inc | Mikkelsen N.D.,QuantiBact Inc | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

The sensitivity and specificity of clinical diagnostic assays using DNA hybridization techniques are limited by the dissociation of double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) antiparallel duplex helices. This situation can be improved by addition of DNA stabilizing molecules such as nucleic acid intercalators. Here, we report the synthesis of a novel ortho-Twisted Intercalating Nucleic Acid (TINA) amidite utilizing the phosphoramidite approach, and examine the stabilizing effect of ortho- and para-TINA molecules in antiparallel DNA duplex formation. In a thermal stability assay, ortho- and para-TINA molecules increased the melting point (Tm) of Watson-Crick based antiparallel DNA duplexes. The increase in Tm was greatest when the intercalators were placed at the 5′ and 3′ termini (preferable) or, if placed internally, for each half or whole helix turn. Terminally positioned TINA molecules improved analytical sensitivity in a DNA hybridization capture assay targeting the Escherichia coli rrs gene. The corresponding sequence from the Pseudomonas aeruginosa rrs gene was used as cross-reactivity control. At 150 mM ionic strength, analytical sensitivity was improved 27-fold by addition of ortho-TINA molecules and 7-fold by addition of para-TINA molecules (versus the unmodified DNA oligonucleotide), with a 4-fold increase retained at 1 M ionic strength. Both intercalators sustained the discrimination of mismatches in the dsDNA (indicated by ΔTm), unless placed directly adjacent to the mismatch - in which case they partly concealed ΔTm (most pronounced for para-TINA molecules). We anticipate that the presented rules for placement of TINA molecules will be broadly applicable in hybridization capture assays and target amplification systems. © 2011 Schneider et al.

Schneider U.V.,QuantiBact Inc | Severinsen J.K.,QuantiBact Inc | Geci I.,University of Southern Denmark | Okkels L.M.,QuantiBact Inc | And 7 more authors.
BMC Biotechnology | Year: 2010

Background: Melting temperature of DNA structures can be determined on the LightCycler using quenching of FAM. This method is very suitable for pH independent melting point (Tm) determination performed at basic or neutral pH, as a high throughput alternative to UV absorbance measurements. At acidic pH quenching of FAM is not very suitable, since the fluorescence of FAM is strongly pH dependent and drops with acidic pH.Hoogsteen based parallel triplex helix formation requires protonation of cytosines in the triplex forming strand. Therefore, nucleic acid triplexes show strong pH dependence and are stable only at acidic pH. This led us to establish a new pH independent fluorophore based measuring system on the LightCycler for thermal stability studies of parallel triplexes.Results: A novel LightCycler FRET pair labelled with ATTO495 and ATTO647N was established for parallel triplex detection with antiparallel duplex as a control for the general applicability of these fluorophores for Tm determination. The ATTO fluorophores were pH stable from pH 4.5 to 7.5. Melting of triplex and duplex structures were accompanied by a large decrease in fluorescence intensity leading to well defined Tm and high reproducibility. Validation of Tm showed low intra- and inter-assay coefficient of variation; 0.11% and 0.14% for parallel triplex and 0.19% and 0.12% for antiparallel duplex. Measurements of Tm and fluorescence intensity over time and multiple runs showed great time and light stability of the ATTO fluorophores. The variance on Tm determinations was significant lower on the LightCycler platform compared to UV absorbance measurements, which enable discrimination of DNA structures with very similar Tm. Labelling of DNA probes with ATTO fluorophore increased Tm of antiparallel duplexes significantly, but not Tm of parallel triplexes.Conclusions: We have established a novel pH independent FRET pair with high fluorescence signals on the LightCycler platform for both antiparallel duplex and parallel triplex formation. The method has been thoroughly validated, and is characterized by an excellent accuracy and reproducibility. This FRET pair is especially suitable for ΔTm and Tm determinations of pH dependent parallel triplex formation. © 2010 Schneider et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Schneider U.V.,QuantiBact Inc | Mikkelsen N.D.,QuantiBact Inc | Johnk N.,QuantiBact Inc | Okkels L.M.,QuantiBact Inc | And 2 more authors.
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2010

Twisted intercalating nucleic acid (TINA) is a novel intercalator and stabilizer of Hoogsteen type parallel triplex formations (PT). Specific design rules for position of TINA in triplex forming oligonucleotides (TFOs) have not previously been presented. We describe a complete collection of easy and robust design rules based upon more than 2500 melting points (Tm) determined by FRET. To increase the sensitivity of PT, multiple TINAs should be placed with at least 3 nt in-between or preferable one TINA for each half helixturn and/or whole helixturn. We find that ΔTm of base mismatches on PT is re- markably high (between 7.4 and 15.2oC) compared to antiparallel duplexes (between 3.8 and 9.4oC). The specificity of PT by "Tm increases when shorter TFOs and higher pH are chosen. To increase ΔTms, base mismatches should be placed in the center of the TFO and when feasible, A, C or T to G base mismatches should be avoided. Base mismatches can be neutralized by intercalation of a TINA on each side of the base mismatch and masked by a TINA intercalating direct 3' (preferable) or 5' of it. We predict that TINA stabilized PT will improve the sensitivity and specificity of DNA based clinical diagnostic assays. © The Author(s) 2010. Published by Oxford University Press.

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