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Columbia researchers report novel approach for single molecule electronic DNA sequencing
Date:9/21/2012

used in the next generation DNA sequencing systems. Dr. Kasianowicz and his group at NIST pioneered the investigation of nanopores for single molecule analysis. They previously reported that different length polymers, polyethylene glycols (PEGs), could be distinguished by their unique effects on current readings in a α-hemolysin protein nanopores at single molecule level and subsequently developed a theory for the method. Their results provide the proof-of-concept for single molecule mass spectrometry. The combination of the SBS concept with the distinct nanopore-detectable electronic tags to label DNA building blocks led to the development of the single-molecule electronic Nano-SBS approach described the current Scientific Reports article (09/21/2012).

As lead author Dr. Shiv Kumar points out, "The novelty of our approach lies in the design and use of four differently tagged nucleotides, which upon incorporation by DNA polymerase, release four different size tags that are distinguished from each other at the single molecule level when they pass through the nanopore. This approach overcomes any constraints imposed by the small differences among the four nucleotides, a challenge which most nanopore sequencing methods have faced for decades." Moreover, the technique is quite flexible; with PEG tags as prototypes, other chemical tags can be chosen to provide optimal separation in different nanopore systems.

With further development of this Nano-SBS approach, such as the use of large arrays of protein or solid nanopores, this system has the potential to accurately sequence an entire human genome rapidly and at low cost, thereby enabling it to be used in routine medical diagnoses.


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Contact: Beth Kwon
beth.kwon@columbia.edu
212-854-6581
Columbia University
Source:Eurekalert

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