Nano Research

Article Title

A highly efficient fluorescence-based switch-on detection method of 5-formyluracil in DNA


5-formyluracil, fluorescence, phosphoramidite, epigenetics


ABSTRACT The identification of hydroxylmethyl- and formylpyrimidines in genomic DNA was a landmark event in epigenetics. Numerous laboratories in related fields are investigating the biology of these and other nucleic acid modifications. However, limitations in the ability to detect and synthesize appropriate modifications are an impediment. Herein, we explored a remarkable development in the selective detection of 5-formyluracil in both single-stranded and double-stranded DNA under mild conditions. The “switch-on” specificity towards 5-formyluracil enabled a high signal-to-noise ratio in qualitatively and quantitatively detecting materials containing 5-formyluracil, which is not affected by the presence of abasic sites and 5-formylcytosine, the modified cytosine counterpart of 5-formyluracil. In summary, the innoxiousness, convenience, and cost-efficiency of the 5-formyluracil phosphoramidite synthetic routine would promote the understanding of the epigenetic role of this natural thymidine modification.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press