Paper Highlights

Specific DNA duplex formation at an artificial lipid bilayer: Towards a new DNA biosensor technology

Emma Werz, Sergei Korneev, Malayko Montilla-Martinez, Richard Wagner, Roland Hemmler, Claudius Walter, Jörg Eisfeld, Karsten Gall, Helmut Rosemeyer

Chem. Biodiversity 2012, DOI:10.1002/cbdv.201100298

First experiments towards a novel DNA chip technology are presented which renounces any chemistry on solid supports by using instead the self-organization and duplex formation of lipid-oligonucleotide conjugates at a lipid bilayer – water interface.


An RNA–deaminase conjugate selectively repairs point mutations

T. Stafforst, M. F. Schneider

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2012, DOI:10.1002/anie.201206489

Checking for mistakes: By conjugating a catalytic domain with a guide RNA, deamination activity can be harnessed to repair a specific codon on mRNA. This method can be used for the highly selective repair of point mutations in mRNA by site-selective editing.


Organic chemistry of DNA functionalization; chromophores as DNA base substitutes versus DNA base/2'-modifications

W. Schmucker, H. A. Wagenknecht

Synlett 2012, DOI:10.1055/s-0032-1317158

Chemical synthesis allows to use nucleic acids as scaffolds for the precise arrangement of different kinds of artificial functionalities inside or along the double helix.


Template-directed synthesis in 3′- and 5′-direction with reversible termination

A. Kaiser, S. Spies, T. Lommel, C. Richert

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2012, DOI:10.1002/anie.201203859

Ein Verfahren für die templatgesteuerte Festphasensynthese von DNA mit Phosphorsäureamid-Rückgrat wird beschrieben.
Kettenwachstum kann am 3'- und am 5'-Terminus induziert werden.


In-stem-labeled molecular beacons for distinct fluorescent color readout

C. Holzhauser, H.-A. Wagenknecht

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2011, DOI:10.1002/anie.201101968

DNA traffic lights for hybridization: An efficient energy transfer between thiazole orange and thiazole red in the DNA stem architecture yields a red fluorescence that changes to green emission upon binding to the target oligonucleotide sequence.


Efficient enzyme-free copying of all four nucleobases templated by immobilized RNA

C.Deck, M. Jauker, C. Richert

Nature Chem. 2011, DOI:10.1038/nchem.1086

The transition from inanimate materials to the earliest forms of life must have involved multiplication of a catalytically active polymer that is able to replicate. The semiconservative replication that is characteristic of genetic information transfer requires strands that contain more than one type of nucleobase. Short strands of RNA can act as catalysts, but attempts to induce efficient self-copying of mixed sequences (containing four different nucleobases) have been unsuccessful with ribonucleotides. Here we show that inhibition by spent monomers, formed by the hydrolysis of the activated nucleotides, is the cause for incomplete extension of growing daughter strands on RNA templates. Immobilization of strands and periodic displacement of the solution containing the activated monomers overcome this inhibition. Any of the four nucleobases (A/C/G/U) is successfully copied in the absence of enzymes. We conclude therefore that in a prebiotic world, oligoribonucleotides may have formed and undergone self-copying on surfaces.