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Split Locations and Secondary Structures of a DNAzyme Critical to Binding-Assembled Multicomponent Nucleic Acid Enzymes for Protein Detection

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-11-17, 20:43 authored by Yiren Cao, Hongquan Zhang, X. Chris Le
RNA-cleaving DNAzymes and their multicomponent nucleic acid enzymes (MNAzymes) have been successfully used to detect nucleic acids and proteins. The appropriate split of the catalytic cores of DNAzymes is critical to the formation of MNAzymes with high catalytic activities. However, for protein detection, no systematic investigation has been made on the effects of the split locations and secondary structures of MNAzymes on the catalytic activities of the cleavage reaction. We systematically studied how split locations and secondary structures affect the activity of the MNAzymes that catalyze multiple cleavage steps. We engineered the MNAzymes on the basis of the RNA-cleaving DNAzyme 10-23 as a model system. We designed 28 pairs of MNAzymes, representing 14 different split locations and two secondary structures: the three-arm and the four-arm structures. By comparing the multiple turnover numbers (kobs.m) of the 28 MNAzymes, we showed that the split location between the seventh cytosine and the eighth thymine of the catalytic core region and the four-arm structure resulted in optimum catalytic activity. Binding-induced DNA assembly of the optimized MNAzymes enabled sensitive detection of two model protein targets, demonstrating promising potential of the binding-assembled MNAzymes for protein analysis. The strategy of binding-assembled MNAzymes and systematic studies measuring multiple turnover numbers (kobs.m) provide a new approach to studying other partial (split) DNAzymes and engineering better MNAzymes for the detection of specific proteins.