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Analyst. 2014 Mar 21;139(6):1436-41. doi: 10.1039/c3an02298f.

Design of two and three input molecular logic gates using non-Watson-Crick base pairing-based molecular beacons.

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Department of Chemistry, National Sun Yat-sen University, 70 Lienhai Rd., Kaohsiung 80424, Taiwan.


This study presents a single, resettable, and sensitive molecular beacon (MB) used to operate molecular-scale logic gates. The MB consists of a random DNA sequence, a fluorophore at the 5'-end, and a quencher at the 3'-end. The presence of Hg(2+), Ag(+), and coralyne promoted the formation of stable T-Hg(2+)-T, C-Ag(+)-C, and A2-coralyne-A2 coordination in the MB probe, respectively, thereby driving its conformational change. The metal ion or small molecule-mediated coordination of mismatched DNA brought the fluorophore and the quencher into close proximity, resulting in collisional quenching of fluorescence between the two organic dyes. Because thiol can bind Hg(2+) and remove it from the T-Hg(2+)-T-based MB, adding thiol to a solution of the T-Hg(2+)-T-based MB allowed the fluorophore and the quencher to be widely separated. A similar phenomenon was observed when replacing Hg(2+) with Ag(+). Because Ag(+) strongly binds to iodide, cyanide, and cysteine, they were capable of removing Ag(+) from the C-Ag(+)-C-based MB, restoring the fluorescence of the MB. Moreover, the fluorescence of the A2-coralyne-A2-based MB could be switched on by adding polyadenosine. Using these analytes as inputs and the MB as a signal transducer, we successfully developed a series of two-input, three-input, and set-reset logic gates at the molecular level.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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