Nucleotide-Dependent Bioautocatalytic Timer Reaction

We describe a biochemical timer composed of three biocatalytic reactions involving three types of adenylate nucleotides: adenosine triphosphate (ATP), adenosine diphosphate (ADP), and adenosine monophosphate (AMP). The timer is triggered by a small amount of ATP or ADP. An abrupt increase in the ATP concentration (following numerous amplification cycles) leads to a sudden increase of luminescence from the reaction mixture. The time point when the luminescence appears is found to be a function of the initial concentration of the triggering nucleotide (5.0 × 10–8–1.0 × 10–6 M), even in the presence of a complex biological matrix. The mechanism of the observed dependence of the time of luminescence increase on the concentration has been confirmed with simple kinetic models. Due to the biocompatibility of the proposed trienzymatic reaction scheme (sensitivity to common nucleotides and occurrence in a neutral pH aqueous environment), the scheme can be used in bioengineered systems that require modulation of the response time (light emission) by concentration.