We have developed an atomic force microscopy-based method for detecting abasic sites (AP sites) on individual DNA molecules. By using uracil and uracil DNA glycosylase, we first prepared a 250-bp DNA template consisting of two AP sites at specific locations. We then detected the AP sites by marking them with biotinylated aldehyde-reactive probes and monomeric avidin. We demonstrate here that (i) the location of monomeric avidin bound on a single DNA molecule was detectable by atomic force microscopy; (ii) the observed location of avidin was in good agreement to the predicted AP sites at a few nanometer resolution; and (iii) by end-labeling the 5′-terminus of one DNA strand, the AP sites were determined without directional ambiguity. The technique described here will provide a sensitive way of locating AP sites and contribute to screen DNA damages from individual molecules.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry