Reverse Transcription of Threose Nucleic Acid by a Naturally Occurring DNA Polymerase.
- Author(s): Dunn, Matthew R
- Chaput, John C
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cbic.201600338/full
Recent advances in polymerase engineering have enabled the replication of xenonucleic acid (XNA) polymers with backbone structures distinct from those found in nature. By introducing a selective amplification step into the replication cycle, functional XNA molecules have been isolated by in vitro selection with binding and catalytic activity. Despite these successes, coding and decoding genetic information in XNA polymers remains limited by the fidelity and catalytic efficiency of engineered XNA polymerases. In particular, the process of reverse transcribing XNA back into DNA for amplification by PCR has been problematic. Here, we show that Geobacillus stearothermophilus (Bst) DNA polymerase I functions as an efficient and faithful threose nucleic acid (TNA)-dependent DNA polymerase. Bst DNA polymerase generates ∼twofold more cDNA with threefold fewer mutations than Superscript II (SSII), which was previously the best TNA reverse transcriptase. Notably, Bst also functions under standard magnesium-dependent conditions, whereas SSII requires manganese ions to relax the enzyme's substrate specificity. We further demonstrate that Bst DNA polymerase can support the in vitro selection of TNA aptamers by evolving a TNA aptamer to human α-thrombin.