Monday, June 3, 2013

Did you know: There is a new way to produce DNA oligonucleotides?

Schematic showing how antisense DNA prevents protein translation.
RNAi Therapeutics: How Likely, How Soon? Robinson R PLoS Biology
 Vol. 2, No. 1, e28 doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0020028
by Robinson R

DNA oligonucleotides have a number uses including as antisense inhibitors of protein synthesis and as oligonucleotide based drugs. In order for them to be used as drugs the product must be very pure and should be inexpensive. A recent report describes a technique that could address both issues.

A paper published in the online version of Nature Methods on June 2nd describes the 'monoclonal stoichiometric' (MOSIC) method for enzyme-mediated production of DNA oligonucleotides. The work in the paper entitled: 'Enzymatic production of 'monoclonal stoichiometric' single-stranded DNA oligonucleotides' is a collaboration between U.S. and Swedish scientists.

Single-stranded DNA oligonucleotides are typically produced using polymer chemistries in which the number of errors increases as oligonucleotide length increases which can lead to problematic sequence diversity. MOSIC uses bacteria to amplify the oligonucleotides and allowed for the preparation of oligonucleotides up to 378 nucleotides in length. By using bacteria they are able to improve quality while making it possible to scale-up production and produce larger quantities of DNA cheaply.