A label-free assay for T4 polynucleotide kinase/phosphatase activity and its inhibitors based on poly(thymine)-templated copper nanoparticles.

PMID 26695260


DNA 3'-phosphatase takes an important role in DNA damage repair, replication and recombination. Here, we present a novel label-free fluorescent assay for T4 polynucleotide kinase/phosphatase (T4 PNKP) activity and its inhibitor screening by using poly(thymine)-templated fluorescent copper nanoparticles (CuNPs) as a fluorescent indicator. In this assay, we designed a simple T-rich hairpin primer with a 3'-phosphoryl end, which can serve as both the substrate for T4 PNKP and DNA template for the formation of fluorescent CuNPs. Once the phosphorylated hairpin primer was hydrolyzed by T4 PNKP, the resulting hairpin primer with a 3'-hydroxyl end was immediately elongated to form a long double-strand product by DNA polymerase, which prohibited the formation of fluorescent CuNPs due to the lack of poly T single-stranded DNA template. This new strategy provides a sensitive, selective, and cost-effective manner for T4 PNKP analysis, which holds a great potential in the study of DNA damage repair mechanisms.