Novel multistranded and alternative DNA, RNA and plasmid microarrays have been developed that allow for immobilization of intact, nondenatured nucleic acids. Biomolecules are anchored onto a solid support and can move freely, while researchers experiment with molecular structure and function. Conventional nucleic acids that can be anchored include double-stranded (ds-) DNA and ds-RNA. Alternative nucleic acids can be immobilized, e.g., Z-DNA, and cruciform DNA. Multistranded (e.g., triplex DNA) molecules can also be immobilized for experimentation. This technology represents the next generation of DNA and RNA microarrays, which will assist in the characterization of molecular structure and function, and accelerate the discovery of new drugs that bind to nucleic acids. The microarrays allow researchers to immobilize nucleic acids and experiment with them under different conditions. This is achieved by conjugating the end of one, two, three, or more of their strands with biotin and functionalizing the substrate surface with avidin. These novel nucleic microarrays, together with pharmacogenomics and pharmacoproteomics can be used to improve the characterization of DNA structure, inhibition of gene expression, nucleic acid-protein-drug complexes, personalized medicine, and drug development and discovery. The microarrays go beyond biomedical research; they can be applied to nanotechnology, e.g., DNA-based microprocessor chips.
Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 3, Nanotechnology 2011: Bio Sensors, Instruments, Medical, Environment and Energy
Published: June 13, 2011
Pages: 497 - 500
Industry sector: Medical & Biotech