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Target-triggered transcription machinery for ultra-selective and sensitive fluorescence detection of nucleoside triphosphates in one minute

Dong, Jiantong, Wu, Tongbo, Xiao, Yu, Chen, Lu, Xu, Lei, Li, Mengyuan, Zhao, Meiping
Biosensors & bioelectronics 2017
DNA, DNA-directed RNA polymerase, RNA, biosensors, biosynthesis, fluorescence, guidelines, monitoring, nucleosides, point-of-care systems, signal peptide
Nucleoside triphosphates (NTPs) play important roles in living organisms. However, no fluorescent assays are currently available to simply and rapidly detect multiple NTPs with satisfactory selectivity, sensitivity and low cost. Here we demonstrate for the first time a target-triggered in-vitro transcription machinery for ultra-selective, sensitive and instant fluorescence detection of multiple NTPs. The machinery assembles RNA polymerase, DNA template and non-target NTPs to convert the target NTP into equivalent RNA signal sequences which are monitored by the fluorescence enhancement of molecular beacon. The machinery offers excellent selectivity for the target NTP against NDP, NMP and dNTP. Notably, to accelerate the kinetics of the machinery while maintain its high specificity, we investigated the sequence of DNA templates systematically and established a set of guidelines for the design of the optimum DNA templates, which allowed for instant detection of the target NTP at fmol level in less than 1min. Furthermore, the machinery could be transformed into logic gates to study the coeffects of two NTPs in biosynthesis and real-time monitoring systems to reflect the distribution of NTP in nucleotide pools. These results provide very useful and low-cost tools for both biochemical tests and point-of-care analysis.