Da Chen


DOI bib
Misfolding of a DNAzyme for ultrahigh sodium selectivity over potassium
Yanping He, Da Chen, Po‐Jung Jimmy Huang, Yibo Zhou, Lingfei Ma, Kexin Xu, Ronghua Yang, Juewen Liu
Nucleic Acids Research, Volume 46, Issue 19

Herein, the excellent Na+ selectivity of a few RNA-cleaving DNAzymes was exploited, where Na+ can be around 3000-fold more effective than K+ for promoting catalysis. By using a double mutant based on the Ce13d DNAzyme, and by lowering the temperature, increased 2-aminopurine (2AP) fluorescence was observed with addition of both Na+ and K+. The fluorescence increase was similar for these two metals at below 10 mM, after which K+ took a different pathway. Since 2AP probes its local base stacking environment, K+ can be considered to induce misfolding. Binding of both Na+ and K+ was specific, since single base mutations could fully inhibit 2AP fluorescence for both metals. The binding thermodynamics was measured by temperature-dependent experiments revealing enthalpy-driven binding for both metals and less coordination sites compared to G-quadruplex DNA. Cleavage activity assays indicated a moderate cleavage activity with 10 mM K+, while further increase of K+ inhibited the activity, also supporting its misfolding of the DNAzyme. For comparison, a G-quadruplex DNA was also studied using the same system, where Na+ and K+ led to the same final state with only around 8-fold difference in Kd. This study provides interesting insights into strategies for discriminating Na+ and K+.