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The Exploration of a New Stable G‑Triplex DNA and Its Novel Function in Electrochemical Biosensing

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journal contribution
posted on 06.08.2019, 21:03 by Ling-Li Zhao, Ting Cao, Qian-Yu Zhou, Xiao-Hui Zhang, Ying-Lin Zhou, Lijiang Yang, Xin-Xiang Zhang
A G-triplex, a new kind of DNA structure, has been identified as an intermediate in the folding of G-quadruplexes. However, the studies on G-triplexes are still very limited, and the functions and applications of G-triplexes need to be further developed. In this paper, a new G-triplex sequence (5′-CTG­GGAG­GGAG­GGA-3′, G3), obtained by truncating four bases (GGGA) from the 3′ end of an 18-base G-quadruplex sequence (G4), was found to significantly decrease the diffusion current of methylene blue (MB). In particular, we proved that (a) MB stabilized the structure of G3 and increased the Tm of G3 considerably based on circular dichroism; and (b) MB formed a 1:1 noncovalent complex with G3 based on electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. Moreover, molecular dynamics simulations established reliable speculation in the folding topology of G3 and interaction sites between G3 and MB. Based on the strong affinity of G3 with MB, we further developed a novel function of G3 as an electrochemical signal read-out and applied it in the fabrication of a sensitive homogeneous electrochemical aptasensor for cocaine. The features we observed in the G3/MB complex will serve as a new inspiring guideline for developing functional short G-rich ligands.