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Peptide nucleic acid.DNA strand displacement loops as artificial transcription promoters.

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  • Research Article


Homopyrimidine peptide nucleic acids (PNAs) form loop structures when binding to complementary double-stranded DNA by strand displacement, and we now show that RNA polymerase recognizes these and initiates RNA transcription from PNA/double-stranded DNA strand displacement complexes at an efficiency comparable to that of the strong Escherichia coli lacUV5 promoter. Thus PNA targets can be considered as artificial promoters controlled positively by the corresponding PNA as a transcription factor. Our results have implications for the mechanism of action of RNA polymerase and suggest the use of PNA as specific gene activating reagents and drugs.

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