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Quantification of Cellular Deoxyribonucleoside Triphosphates by Rolling Circle Amplification and Förster Resonance Energy Transfer

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journal contribution
posted on 01.11.2019, 16:36 by Xue Qiu, Olivier Guittet, Carlos Mingoes, Nadine El Banna, Meng-Er Huang, Michel Lepoivre, Niko Hildebrandt
The quantification of cellular deoxyribonucleoside triphosphate (dNTP) levels is important for studying pathologies, genome integrity, DNA repair, and the efficacy of pharmacological drug treatments. Current standard methods, such as enzymatic assays or high-performance liquid chromatography, are complicated, costly, and labor-intensive, and alternative techniques that simplify dNTP quantification would present very useful complementary approaches. Here, we present a dNTP assay based on isothermal rolling circle amplification (RCA) and rapid time-gated Förster resonance energy transfer (TG-FRET), which used a commercial clinical plate reader system. Despite the relatively simple assay format, limits of detection down to a few picomoles of and excellent specificity for each dNTP against the other dNTPs, rNTPs, and dUTP evidenced the strong performance of the assay. Direct applicability of RCA-FRET to applied nucleic acid research was demonstrated by quantifying all dNTPs in CEM-SS leukemia cells with and without hydroxyurea or auranofin treatment. Both pharmacological agents could reduce the dNTP production in a time- and dose-dependent manner. RCA-FRET provides simple, rapid, sensitive, and specific quantification of intracellular dNTPs and has the potential to become an advanced tool for both fundamental and applied dNTP research.