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rEXPAR: An Isothermal Amplification Scheme That Is Robust to Autocatalytic Parasites

Abstract : In the absence of DNA, a solution containing the four deoxynucleotidetriphosphates (dNTPs), a DNA polymerase, and a nicking enzyme generates a self-replicating mixture of DNA species called parasite. Parasites are problematic in template-based isothermal amplification schemes such as EXPAR as well as in related molecular programming approaches, such as the PEN DNA toolbox. Here we show that using a nicking enzyme with only three letters (C, G, T) in the top strand of its recognition site, such as Nb.BssSI, allows us to change the sequence design of EXPAR templates in a way that prevents the formation of parasites when dATP is removed from the solution. This method allows us to make the EXPAR reaction robust to parasite contamination, a common feature in the laboratory, while keeping it compatible with PEN programs, which we demonstrate by engineering a parasite-proof bistable reaction network.
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Georg Urtel, Marc van der Hofstadt, Jean-Christophe Galas, André Estévez-Torres. rEXPAR: An Isothermal Amplification Scheme That Is Robust to Autocatalytic Parasites. Biochemistry, American Chemical Society, 2019, 58 (23), pp.2675-2681. ⟨10.1021/acs.biochem.9b00063⟩. ⟨hal-02180838⟩

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