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Nat Biotechnol. 2012 Mar 25;30(4):349-53. doi: 10.1038/nbt.2171.

Reading DNA at single-nucleotide resolution with a mutant MspA nanopore and phi29 DNA polymerase.

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Department of Physics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.


Nanopore technologies are being developed for fast and direct sequencing of single DNA molecules through detection of ionic current modulations as DNA passes through a pore's constriction. Here we demonstrate the ability to resolve changes in current that correspond to a known DNA sequence by combining the high sensitivity of a mutated form of the protein pore Mycobacterium smegmatis porin A (MspA) with phi29 DNA polymerase (DNAP), which controls the rate of DNA translocation through the pore. As phi29 DNAP synthesizes DNA and functions like a motor to pull a single-stranded template through MspA, we observe well-resolved and reproducible ionic current levels with median durations of ∼28 ms and ionic current differences of up to 40 pA. Using six different DNA sequences with readable regions 42-53 nucleotides long, we record current traces that map to the known DNA sequences. With single-nucleotide resolution and DNA translocation control, this system integrates solutions to two long-standing hurdles to nanopore sequencing.

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