Site-Specific DNA Functionalization through the Tetrazene-Forming Reaction in Ionic Liquids

13 September 2021, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Development of multiple chemical tools for deoxynucleic acid (DNA) labeling has facilitated wide use of their functionalized conjugates, but significant practical and methodological challenges remain to achievement of site-specific chemical modification of the biomacromolecule. As covalent labeling processes are more challenging in aqueous solution, use of nonaqueous, biomolecule-compatible solvents such as an ionic liquid consisting of a salt with organic molecule architecture, could be remarkably helpful in this connection. Herein, we demonstrate site-specific chemical modification of DNAs through a tetrazene-forming amine-azide coupling reaction using an ionic liquid. This ionic liquid-enhanced reaction process has good functional group tolerance and precise chemoselectivity, and enables incorporation into DNA of various useful functionalities such as biotin, cholesterol and fluorophores which could be incorporated into DNA through this method. A site-specifically labeled single stranded nucleotide, or aptamer interacting with a growth factor receptor (Her2) was successfully used in the fluorescence imaging of breast cancer cell lines. The non-traditional medium-promoted labeling strategy described here provides an alternative design paradigm for future development of chemical tools for applications involving DNA functionalization.




Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy [opens in a new tab] - please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy [opens in a new tab] and Terms of Service [opens in a new tab] apply.