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Sequencing proteins with transverse ionic transport in nanochannels

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De novo protein sequencing is essential for understanding cellular processes that govern the function of living organisms and all sequence modifications that occur after a protein has been constructed from its corresponding DNA code. By obtaining the order of the amino acids that compose a given protein one can then determine both its secondary and tertiary structures through structure prediction, which is used to create models for protein aggregation diseases such as Alzheimer's Disease. Here, we propose a new technique for de novo protein sequencing that involves translocating a polypeptide through a synthetic nanochannel and measuring the ionic current of each amino acid through an intersecting perpendicular nanochannel. We find that the distribution of ionic currents for each of the 20 proteinogenic amino acids encoded by eukaryotic genes is statistically distinct, showing this technique's potential for de novo protein sequencing.

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