Supernova: a glowing DNA enzyme
21 October 2021
Once thought to function primarily as a storage molecule for genetic information, it is now known that DNA can also catalyze chemical reactions. Although such DNA enzymes …
New academic fund to support research startups with more than 45 million euros
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In September 2021, activities commenced at the i&i Biotech Fund (i&i Bio), which specializes in investments in academic spinoffs devoted to drug discovery, diagnostics, and…
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Supernova: a deoxyribozyme that catalyzes a chemiluminescent reaction
Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2021: Early View
Functional DNA molecules are useful components in nanotechnology and synthetic biology. To expand the toolkit of functional DNA parts, in this study we used artificial evolution to identify a glowing deoxyribozyme called Supernova. This deoxyribozyme transfers a phosphate from a 1,2-dioxetane substrate to its 5′ hydroxyl group, which triggers a chemiluminescent reaction and a flash of blue light. An engineered version of Supernova is only catalytically active in the presence of an oligonucleotide complementary to its 3′ end, demonstrating that light production can be coupled to ligand binding. We anticipate that Supernova will be useful in a wide variety of applications, including as a signaling component in allosterically regulated sensors and in logic gates of molecular computers.
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