A generalizable DNA-catalyzed approach to peptide-nucleic acid conjugation

Chih Chi Chu, On Y.i. Wong, Scott K. Silverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report DNA catalysts (deoxyribozymes) that join tyrosine-containing peptides to RNA and DNA in one step and without requiring protecting groups on either the peptide or the nucleic acid. Our previous efforts towards this goal required tethering the peptide to a DNA anchor oligonucleotide. Here, we established direct in vitro selection for deoxyribozymes that use untethered, free peptide substrates. This approach enables imposition of selection pressure via reduced peptide concentration and leads to preparatively useful lower apparent Km values of ∼100 μM peptide. Use of phosphorimidazolide (Imp) rather than triphosphate as the electrophile enables reactivity of either terminus (5' or 3') of both RNA and DNA. Our findings establish a generalizable means of joining unprotected peptide to nucleic acid in one step by using DNA catalysts identified by in vitro selection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1905-1910
Number of pages6
JournalChembiochem : a European journal of chemical biology
Issue number13
StatePublished - Sep 5 2014


  • DNA
  • deoxyribozymes
  • in vitro selection
  • peptide-nucleic acid conjugate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Organic Chemistry


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