Padlock Probes and Rolling Circle Amplification : New Possibilities for Sensitive Gene Detection

Sammanfattning: A series of novel methods for detection of known sequence variants in DNA, in particular single nucleotide polymorphism, using padlock probes and rolling circle replication are presented. DNA probes that can be circularized – padlock probes – are ideal for rolling circle replication. Circularized, but not unreacted probes, can generate powerful signal amplification by allowing the reacted probes to template a rolling circle replication (RCR) reaction. However, when hybridized and ligated to a target DNA molecule with no nearby ends, the probes are bound to the target sequence, inhibiting the RCR reaction is. This problem can be solved by generating a branched DNA probe with two 3’ arms such that the probes may be circularized while leaving the second 3’ arm as a primer for the RCR reaction. We describe how T4 DNA ligase can be used for efficient construction of DNA molecules having one 5’ end but two distinct 3’ ends that extend from the 2’ and 3’ carbons of an internal nucleotide. An even stronger approach to circumvent the topological problem that can inhibit RCR is to restriction digest the template downstream of the padlock recognition site. By using Phi 29 DNA polymerase with efficient 3’ exonuclease and strand displacement activity, the template strand can then be used to prime the RCR reaction. The amplified molecule is contiguous with the target DNA, generating an anchored localized signal. The kinetics of the reaction was investigated by following the reaction in real-time using molecular beacon probes. Localized RCR signal were obtained on DNA arrays, allowing detection of as little as 104-105 spotted molecules, of either single- or double-stranded M13 DNA, in a model experiment. We have also established a serial rolling circle amplification procedure. By converting rolling circle products to a second and even third generation of padlock probes the signal was amplified thousand-fold per generation. This procedure provides sufficient sensitivity for detection of single-copy gene sequences in 50 ng of human genomic DNA, and large numbers of probes were amplified in parallel with excellent quantitative resolution.