Improvement of DNA adenylation using T4 DNA ligase with a template strand and a strategically mismatched acceptor strand

Maha P. Patel, Dana A. Baum, Scott K. Silverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


DNA with a 5′-adenylpyrophosphoryl cap (5′-adenylated DNA; AppDNA) is an activated form of DNA that is the biochemical intermediate of the reactions catalyzed by DNA ligase, RNA ligase, polynucleotide kinase, and other nucleic acid modifying enzymes. 5′-Adenylated DNA is also useful for in vitro selection experiments. Efficient preparation of 5′-adenylated DNA is therefore desirable for several biochemical applications. Here we have developed a DNA adenylation procedure that uses T4 DNA ligase and is more reliable than a previously reported approach that used the 5′-phosphorylated donor DNA substrate to be adenylated, a DNA template, and ATP but no acceptor strand. Our improved DNA adenylation procedure uses the above components as well as an acceptor strand that has a strategically chosen C-T acceptor-template mismatch directly adjacent to the adenylation site. This mismatch permits adenylation of the donor DNA substrate but largely suppresses subsequent ligation of the donor with the acceptor, as assayed on nine different DNA substrates that collectively have all four DNA nucleotides represented at each of the first two positions. The new DNA adenylation procedure is successful using either laboratory-prepared or commercial T4 DNA ligase and works well on the preparative (2 nmol) scale for all nine of the test DNA substrates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-56
Number of pages11
JournalBioorganic Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2008


  • Acceptor
  • Adenylation
  • Donor
  • T4 DNA ligase
  • Template

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry


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