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1.  DNA breathes Hoogsteen 
Artificial DNA, PNA & XNA  2011;2(1):1-3.
A recent claim is discussed that Watson-Crick pairs in the naked duplex DNA spontaneously flip into Hoogsteen pairs under ordinary conditions. The claim is considered within the historical retrospective and is put into the broader context of DNA biophysics.
PMCID: PMC3116583  PMID: 21686245
duplex DNA breathing; hoogsteen base pairs; DNA structure; DNA motility
2.  PNA-based microbial pathogen identification and resistance marker detection 
Artificial DNA, PNA & XNA  2010;1(2):76-82.
With the rapidly growing availability of the entire genome sequences of microbial pathogens, there is unmet need for increasingly sensitive systems to monitor the gene-specific markers for diagnosis of bacteremia that enables an earlier detection of causative agent and determination of drug resistance. To address these challenges, a novel FISH-type genomic sequence-based molecular technique is proposed that can identify bacteria and simultaneously detect antibiotic resistance markers for rapid and accurate testing of pathogens. The approach is based on a synergistic combination of advanced Peptide Nucleic Acid (PNA)-based technology and signal-enhancing Rolling Circle Amplification (RCA) reaction to achieve a highly specific and sensitive assay. A specific PNA-DNA construct serves as an exceedingly selective and very effective biomarker, while RCA enhances detection sensitivity and provide with a highly multiplexed assay system. Distinct-color fluorescent decorator probes are used to identify about 20-nucleotide-long signature sequences in bacterial genomic DNA and/or key genetic markers of drug resistance in order to identify and characterize various pathogens. The technique's potential and its utility for clinical diagnostics are illustrated by identification of S. aureus with simultaneous discrimination of methicillin-sensitive (MSSA) versus methicillin-resistant (MRSA) strains. Overall these promising results hint to the adoption of PNA-based rapid sensitive detection for diagnosis of other clinically relevant organisms. Thereby, new assay enables significantly earlier administration of appropriate antimicrobial therapy and may, thus have a positive impact on the outcome of the patient.
PMCID: PMC3116573  PMID: 21686242
PNA; bacteral detection; drug resistance; S. aureus; RCA
3.  Sequence specificity at targeting double-stranded DNA with a γ-PNA oligomer modified with guanidinium G-clamp nucleobases 
Artificial DNA, PNA & XNA  2010;1(1):45-53.
γ-PNA, a new class of peptide nucleic acids, promises to overcome previous sequence limitations of double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) targeting with PNA. To check the potential of γ-PNA, we have synthesized a biotinylated, pentadecameric γ-PNA of mixed sequence carrying three guanidinium G-clamp nucleobases. We have found that strand invasion reactions of the γ-PNA oligomer to its fully complementary target within dsDNA occurs with significantly higher binding rates than to targets containing single mismatches. Association of the PNA oligomer to mismatched targets does not go to completion but instead reaches a stationary level at or below 60%, even at conditions of very low ionic strength. Initial binding rates to both matched and mismatched targets experience a steep decrease with increasing salt concentration. We demonstrate that a linear DNA target fragment with the correct target sequence can be purified from DNA mixtures containing mismatched target or unrelated genomic DNA by affinity capture with streptavidin-coated magnetic beads. Similarly, supercoiled plasmid DNA is obtained with high purity from an initial sample mixture that included a linear DNA fragment with the fully complementary sequence. Based on the results obtained in this study we believe that γ-PNA has a great potential for specific targeting of chosen duplex DNA sites in a sequence-unrestricted fashion.
PMCID: PMC3109445  PMID: 21687526
strand-invasion; gamma-PNA; duplex DNA recognition; duplex DNA capture; plasmid DNA purification

Results 1-3 (3)