Technology ID

Use of Modified Peptide Nucleic Acids for Visualizing DNA

Lead Inventor
Appella, Daniel (NIDDK)
Development Status
Lead IC
The compounds described in this technology may be useful in the development of nucleic acid detection kits for various pathogens.

Technologies for genomic detection most commonly use DNA probes to hybridize to target sequences, and require the use of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) to amplify target sequences. Replacing the DNA probe with peptide nucleic acid (PNA) can greatly eliminate the need for PCR because the binding strength of PNAs to complementary DNA is stronger than DNA binding to complementary DNA. In addition, PNAs are nuclease and protease resistant, and form very stable and highly sequence-specific complexes with DNA.

This technology describes a method of making pure enantiomers of trans-tert-butyl-2-aminocyclopentylcarbamate (tcycp) and methods of modifying PNAs by incorporating tcycp compounds into the PNA. This technology may also be practical for detecting infectious agents such as anthrax, avian flu, tuberculosis (TB), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), human papilloma virus (HPV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Commercial Applications
  • Very stable diagnostic method to detect nucleic acids without using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
  • Binding to complementary DNA can be seen by eye
  • Visual detection of anthrax has been shown
  • Useful for outside of a laboratory environment
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