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Published January 21, 2016 | Accepted Version
Journal Article Open

DNA Charge Transport: from Chemical Principles to the Cell


The DNA double helix has captured the imagination of many, bringing it to the forefront of biological research. DNA has unique features that extend our interest into areas of chemistry, physics, material science, and engineering. Our laboratory has focused on studies of DNA charge transport (CT), wherein charges can efficiently travel long molecular distances through the DNA helix while maintaining an exquisite sensitivity to base pair π-stacking. Because DNA CT chemistry reports on the integrity of the DNA duplex, this property may be exploited to develop electrochemical devices to detect DNA lesions and DNA-binding proteins. Furthermore, studies now indicate that DNA CT may also be used in the cell by, for example, DNA repair proteins, as a cellular diagnostic, in order to scan the genome to localize efficiently to damage sites. In this review, we describe this evolution of DNA CT chemistry from the discovery of fundamental chemical principles to applications in diagnostic strategies and possible roles in biology.

Additional Information

© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. We are grateful to the NIH for their financial support and to all our coworkers and collaborators in this research. We also thank Dr. N. Muren for help with figures.

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