DNA-based nanostructure to detect genetic mutations


A team of researchers from the Universities of  Montreal, Rome Tor Vergata and California Santa Barbara, collaborating in an international research project, have managed to develop a DNA clamp that can detect mutations at the DNA level with very high efficiency.

This DNA clamp exploits the natural ability of DNA sequences rich in pyrimidine and purine bases to adopt triple helix architexture. The devised nanostructure has the capacity to recognize and bind DNA sequences more strongly and more specifically than other probes currently in use. It can also be adapted to provide a fluorescent signal in the presence of DNA mutations associated with certain types of cancer.

This detection method will allow for more effective screening tests for genetic diseases, such as cancer, having important implications on the areas of diagnostics and therapeutics. The results of this study are published in the journal ACS Nano.

Image Credit: Marco Tripodi



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