Origins Forum - Bifacial Peptide and Polymer Nucleic Acid: Functional Integration of Abiotic Molecules with DNA and RNA (Dennis Bong- Ohio State University)


Wednesday, December 16, 2015, 4:00pm


Haller Hall

Abstract - We have recently reported the synthesis of bifacial peptide nucleic acid (bPNA), a peptide that uses triazine heterocycles to interface with polypyrimidines. Triazines readily form from prebiotic reaction conditions, raising the intriguing possibility of their role as informational precursors to the native bases. Bifacial PNA engages two oligo T/U strands simultaneously to form a unique triple stranded structure. Thus, bifacial PNA binding is an associative operation, bringing together non-interacting poly-T/U strands to form a bPNA triplex hybrid. We demonstrate functional compatibility of bPNA with functional non-coding DNA and RNA scaffolds by the use of bPNA as an allosteric trigger of aptamer protein-binding, ribozyme catalytic self-cleavage and aptamer small-molecule binding. The biotechnological applications of bPNA and related scaffolds will be discussed.

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