Nanopore device-based fingerprinting of RNA oligos and microRNAs enhanced with an Osmium tag.

Author(s) Sultan, M.; Kanavarioti, A.
Journal Sci Rep
Date Published 2019 Oct 02

Protein and solid-state nanopores are used for DNA/RNA sequencing as well as for single molecule analysis. We proposed that selective labeling/tagging may improve base-to-base resolution of nucleic acids via nanopores. We have explored one specific tag, the Osmium tetroxide 2,2'-bipyridine (OsBp), which conjugates to pyrimidines and leaves purines intact. Earlier reports using OsBp-tagged oligodeoxyribonucleotides demonstrated proof-of-principle during unassisted voltage-driven translocation via either alpha-Hemolysin or a solid-state nanopore. Here we extend this work to RNA oligos and a third nanopore by employing the MinION, a commercially available device from Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT). Conductance measurements demonstrate that the MinION visibly discriminates oligoriboadenylates with sequence APyA, where Py is an OsBp-tagged pyrimidine. Such resolution rivals traditional chromatography, suggesting that nanopore devices could be exploited for the characterization of RNA oligos and microRNAs enhanced by selective labeling. The data also reveal marked discrimination between a single pyrimidine and two consecutive pyrimidines in OsBp-tagged APyA and APyPyA. This observation leads to the conjecture that the MinION/OsBp platform senses a 2-nucleotide sequence, in contrast to the reported 5-nucleotide sequence with native nucleic acids. Such improvement in sensing, enabled by the presence of OsBp, may enhance base-calling accuracy in enzyme-assisted DNA/RNA sequencing.

DOI 10.1038/s41598-019-50459-8
ISSN 2045-2322
Citation Sci Rep. 2019;9(1):14180.