Base pairing at the abasic site in DNA duplexes and its application in adenosine aptasensors

Yuanfeng Pang, Zhiai Xu, Yusuke Sato, Seiichi Nishizawa, Norio Teramae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The binding of nucleosides to abasic site (AP site)-containing DNA duplexes (AP-DNAs) carrying complementary nucleosides opposite the AP site was investigated by thermal denaturation and isothermal titration calorimetric (ITC) experiments. Purine nucleosides show high affinities (K d=14.1 μM for adenosine and 41.8 μM for guanosine) for binding to the AP-DNAs, and the interactions are driven primarily by the enthalpy change, similarly to the case of DNA intercalators. In contrast, pyrimidine nucleosides do not show noticeable binding to the AP-DNAs, thus suggesting that stacking interaction at the AP site plays a key role in the binding of purine nucleosides to the AP-DNAs, as revealed by ITC measurements. Next, to apply an AP-DNA as an aptasensor for adenosine, a competitive assay between adenosine and AP-site-binding fluorescent ligand was performed. The assay employs a fluorescent ligand, riboflavin, that binds to the AP site in a DNA duplex, thereby causing fluorescence quenching. By adding adenosine to the riboflavin/AP-DNA complex, the binding of adenosine to the AP site causes release of riboflavin from the AP site, thereby resulting in restoration of riboflavin fluorescence. AP-DNAs can serve as a new class of aptasensors-a limit of detection of 0.7 μM was obtained for adenosine. In contrast to conventional aptasensors for adenosine, the present method shows high selectivity for adenosine over the other nucleotides (AMP, ADP and ATP). The method does not require covalent labelling of fluorophores, and thus it is cost-effective; finally, the method was successfully demonstrated to be applicable for the detection of adenosine in horse serum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)436-442
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Feb 13


  • Adenosine
  • Aptamers
  • Base pairing
  • DNA
  • Fluorescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Organic Chemistry


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