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Stronger Adsorption of Phosphorothioate DNA Oligonucleotides on Graphene Oxide by van der Waals Forces

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journal contribution
posted on 09.11.2020, 06:06 by Zhicheng Huang, Yu Zhao, Biwu Liu, Shaokang Guan, Juewen Liu
Finding DNA sequences that can adsorb strongly on nanomaterials is critical for bioconjugate and biointerface chemistry. In most previous work, unmodified DNA with a phosphodiester backbone (PO DNA) were screened or selected for adsorption on inorganic surfaces. In this work, the adsorption of phosphorothioate (PS)-modified DNA (PS DNA) on graphene oxide (GO) is studied. By use of fluorescently labeled oligonucleotides as probes, all the tested PS DNA strands are adsorbed more strongly on GO compared to the PO DNA of the same sequence. The adsorption mechanism is probed by washing the adsorbed DNA with proteins, surfactants, and urea. Molecular dynamics simulations show that van der Waals forces are responsible for the tighter adsorption of PS DNA. Polycytosine (poly-C) DNA, in general, has a high affinity for the GO surface, and PS poly-C DNA can adsorb even stronger, making it an ideal anchoring sequence on GO. With this knowledge, noncovalent functionalization of GO with a diblock DNA is demonstrated, where a PS poly-C block is used to anchor on the surface. This conjugate achieves better hybridization than the PO DNA of the same sequence for hybridization with the complementary DNA.