A new method of manufacturing short, single-stranded DNA molecules can solve many of the problems associated with current production methods. The new method, which is described in the scientific periodical Nature Methods, can be of value to both DNA nanotechnology and the development of drugs consisting of DNA fragments.
“We’ve used enzymatic production methods to create a system that not only improves the quality of the manufactured oligonucleotides but that also makes it possible to scale up production using bacteria in order to produce large amounts of DNA copies cheaply,” says co-developer Björn Högberg at the Swedish Medical Nanoscience Center, part of the Department of Neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet.
The process of bioproduction, whereby bacteria are used to copy DNA sequences, enables the manufacture of large amounts of DNA copies at a low cost. Unlike current methods of synthesising oligonucleotides, where the number of errors increases with the length of the sequence, this new method according to the developers also works well for long oligonucleotides of several hundred nitrogenous bases.
They were also able to make 378-nucleotide long oligomers at a cost 15 to 30 times less than chemically synthesize oligonucleotides
In contrast to enzymatic production proposed before the MOSIC method does not rely on the addition of any synthetic primers, neither for amplification nor for digestion. In fact, regardless of whether amplification is done in vitro or in vivo by
E. coli and phage, all the components necessary for mass production of MOSIC ODNs can be readily grown in bacterial cultures. Taken together, the MOSIC method provides a route for cheap, abundant production of oligonucleotides for any application that requires high-quality ODNs derived from a single bacterial colony and in a defined stoichiometry