Electrochemical genosensor based on peptide nucleic acid-mediated PCR and asymmetric PCR techniques: Electrostatic interactions with a metal cation

Kagan Kerman, Mun'delanji Vestergaard, Naoki Nagatani, Yuzuru Takamura, Eiichi Tamiya
Analytical Chemistry 2006 April 1, 78 (7): 2182-9
The unique structure of peptide nucleic acids (PNAs), linking the N-(2-aminoethyl)glycine units that create a neutral backbone, and prevent it from acting as a primer for DNA polymerase, has been utilized in an electrochemical biosensor scheme for simple and sensitive detection of hybridization. When the PNA is targeted against a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) or wild-type site on the gene, PNA-mediated polymerase chain reaction (PCR) clamping method effectively blocks the formation of a PCR product. In our report, PNA probe for PCR clamping was targeted against the wild-type site of alcohol dehydrogenase. The electrostatic interactions between the negatively charged DNA and neutral PNA molecules with redox-active metal cation cobalt(III)hexamine ([Co(NH3)6]3+) were monitored using differential pulse voltammetry. The electrostatic binding of [Co(NH3)6]3+ to DNA provided the basis for the discrimination against PNA/PNA, PNA/DNA, and DNA/DNA hybrid molecules. We have optimized the experimental conditions, such as probe concentration, [Co(NH3)6]3+ concentration, accumulation time for [Co(NH3)6]3+, and target concentration. A new pretreatment method has also been employed to allow fast and simple detection of hybridization reaction between the PCR amplicon and the probe on glassy carbon electrode (GCE) surface. This method was based on the application of a high-temperature treatment (95 degrees C, 5 min), followed by a 1-min incubation in the presence of DNA primers. The excess concentration of DNA primers prevented the rehybridization of the denatured strands, while enabling the target gene sequence to bind with the immobilized probe. Additionally, asymmetric PCR was employed to detect the presence of genetically modified organism in standard Roundup Ready soybean samples. The amplicons of asymmetric PCR, which were predominantly single-stranded DNA as a result of unequal primer concentration, hybridized with the DNA probe on the sensor surface efficiently. The attachment of long single-strands on GCE surface caused the accumulation of [Co(NH3)6]3+ and a high current response. Here, we report a versatile method that would allow for simple and rapid analysis of nucleic acids in combination with PNA-mediated PCR and asymmetric PCR techniques by using an electrochemical genosensor.

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