Journal of nucleic acids (J Nucleic Acids )

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  • ISSN
    2090-021X

Publications in this journal

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    ABSTRACT: Bromacil is a widely used herbicide that is known to contaminate environmental systems. Due to the hazards it presents and inefficient detection methods, it is necessary to create a rapid and efficient sensing device. Towards this end, we have utilized a stringent in vitro selection method to identify single-stranded DNA molecular recognition elements (MRE) specific for bromacil. We have identified one MRE with high affinity (K d = 9.6 nM) and specificity for bromacil compared to negative targets of selection and other pesticides. The selected ssDNA MRE will be useful as the sensing element in a field-deployable bromacil detection device.
    Journal of nucleic acids 01/2014; 2014:102968.
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    ABSTRACT: Infection with Shiga toxin- (Stx-) producing E. coli causes life threatening hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a leading cause of acute renal failure in children. Of the two antigenically distinct toxins, Stx1 and Stx2, Stx2 is more firmly linked with the development of HUS. In the present study, selective evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX) was used in an attempt to identify RNA aptamers against Stx1 and Stx2. After 5 rounds of selection, significant enrichment of aptamer pool was obtained against Stx2, but not against Stx1, using a RNA aptamer library containing 56 random nucleotides (N56). Characterization of individual aptamer sequences revealed that six unique RNA aptamers (mA/pC, mB/pA, mC, mD, pB, and pD) recognized Stx2 in a filter binding assay. None of these aptamers bound Stx1. Aptamers mA/pC, mB/pA, mC, and mD, but not pB and pD, partially blocked binding of Alexa 488-labeled Stx2 with HeLa cells in a flow cytometry assay. However, none of the aptamers neutralized Stx2-mediated cytotoxicity and death of HeLa cells.
    Journal of nucleic acids 01/2014; 2014:214929.
  • Journal of nucleic acids 11/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: In vitro selection by display methods has been an effective tool for engineering recombinant antibodies. mRNA display based on a cell-free translation system has the advantages of larger library sizes and quicker selection procedures compared with cell-based display methods such as phage display. However, mRNA display has been limited to select single-chain polypeptides such as scFvs due to its characteristic of linking a nascent polypeptide with its encoding mRNA on the ribosome. Here we demonstrated a new way of selecting heterodimeric Fab fragments by using mRNA display combined with emulsion PCR. We designed a pair of complementary 5' UTR sequences that can link the Fab heavy and light chain genes together by overlap-extension PCR in water-in-oil emulsions. We confirmed that two mRNA-displayed polypeptides for heavy and light chain of a model Fab fragment were associated into the active form and that a specific Fab fragment gene was enriched over 100-fold per round of a model affinity selection followed by the gene-linking emulsion PCR. We further performed directed evolution of Fab fragments with higher binding activity from a randomized Fab fragment library.
    Journal of nucleic acids 01/2012; 2012:371379.
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    ABSTRACT: Alternative pre-mRNA splicing has a major impact on cellular functions and development with the potential to fine-tune cellular localization, posttranslational modification, interaction properties, and expression levels of cognate proteins. The plasticity of regulation sets the stage for cells to adjust the relative levels of spliced mRNA isoforms in response to stress or stimulation. As part of an exon profiling analysis of mouse cortical neurons stimulated with high KCl to induce membrane depolarization, we detected a previously unrecognized exon (E24a) of the CASK gene, which encodes for a conserved peptide insertion in the guanylate kinase interaction domain. Comparative sequence analysis shows that E24a appeared selectively in mammalian CASK genes as part of a >3,000 base pair intron insertion. We demonstrate that a combination of a naturally defective 5' splice site and negative regulation by several splicing factors, including SC35 (SRSF2) and ASF/SF2 (SRSF1), drives E24a skipping in most cell types. However, this negative regulation is countered with an observed increase in E24a inclusion after neuronal stimulation and NMDA receptor signaling. Taken together, E24a is typically a skipped exon, which awakens during neuronal stimulation with the potential to diversify the protein interaction properties of the CASK polypeptide.
    Journal of nucleic acids 01/2012; 2012:816237.
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    ABSTRACT: Specific binders comprised of nucleic acids, that is, RNA/DNA aptamers, are attractive functional biopolymers owing to their potential broad application in medicine, food hygiene, environmental analysis, and biological research. Despite the large number of reports on selection of natural DNA/RNA aptamers, there are not many examples of direct screening of chemically modified nucleic acid aptamers. This is because of (i) the inferior efficiency and accuracy of polymerase reactions involving transcription/reverse-transcription of modified nucleotides compared with those of natural nucleotides, (ii) technical difficulties and additional time and effort required when using modified nucleic acid libraries, and (iii) ambiguous efficacies of chemical modifications in binding properties until recently; in contrast, the effects of chemical modifications on biostability are well studied using various nucleotide analogs. Although reports on the direct screening of a modified nucleic acid library remain in the minority, chemical modifications would be essential when further functional expansion of nucleic acid aptamers, in particular for medical and biological uses, is considered. This paper focuses on enzymatic production of chemically modified nucleic acids and their application to random screenings. In addition, recent advances and possible future research are also described.
    Journal of nucleic acids 01/2012; 2012:156482.
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    ABSTRACT: Helicases are enzymes that use ATP-driven motor force to unwind double-stranded DNA or RNA. Recently, increasing evidence demonstrates that some helicases also possess rewinding activity-in other words, they can anneal two complementary single-stranded nucleic acids. All five members of the human RecQ helicase family, helicase PIF1, mitochondrial helicase TWINKLE, and helicase/nuclease Dna2 have been shown to possess strand-annealing activity. Moreover, two recently identified helicases-HARP and AH2 have only ATP-dependent rewinding activity. These findings not only enhance our understanding of helicase enzymes but also establish the presence of a new type of protein: annealing helicases. This paper discusses what is known about these helicases, focusing on their biochemical activity to zip and unzip double-stranded DNA and/or RNA, their possible regulation mechanisms, and biological functions.
    Journal of nucleic acids 01/2012; 2012:140601.
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    ABSTRACT: We studied the effect of genetic susceptibility on hexavalent chromium induced dermal adversities. The health status of population was examined from the areas of Kanpur (India) having the elevated hexavalent chromium levels in groundwater. Blood samples were collected for DNA isolation to conduct polymorphic determination of genes, namely: NQO1 (C609T), hOGG1 (C1245G), GSTT1, and GSTM1 (deletion). Symptomatic exposed subjects (n = 38) were compared with asymptomatic exposed subjects (n = 108) along with asymptomatic controls (n = 148) from a non contaminated reference community. Exposed symptomatic group consisted of 36.8% subjects who were GSTM1 null genotyped as compared to asymptomatic where only 19.4% subjects were null. The exposed subjects with GSTM1 null genotype were more susceptible to dermal adversities in comparison with wild genotyped subjects (OR = 2.42; 95% CI = 1.071-5.451). Age, smoking, gender or duration of residence were not found to have any confounding effect towards this association. Association with other genes was not statistically significant, nonetheless, possible contribution by these genes cannot be ruled out. In conclusion, variation in the polymorphic status of GSTM1 gene may influence dermal outcomes among residents from Cr(VI) contaminated areas. Further studies are therefore, needed to examine these observations among different population groups.
    Journal of nucleic acids 01/2012; 2012:968641.
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    ABSTRACT: The peptide nucleic acid backbone Fmoc-AEG-OBn has been synthesized via a scalable and cost-effective route. Ethylenediamine is mono-Boc protected, then alkylated with benzyl bromoacetate. The Boc group is removed and replaced with an Fmoc group. The synthesis was performed starting with 50 g of Boc anhydride to give 31 g of product in 32% overall yield. The Fmoc-protected PNA backbone is a key intermediate in the synthesis of nucleobase-modified PNA monomers. Thus, improved access to this molecule is anticipated to facilitate future investigations into the chemical properties and applications of nucleobase-modified PNA.
    Journal of nucleic acids 01/2012; 2012:354549.