PNA-Pdx: Versatile Peptide Nucleic Acid-Based Detection of Nucleic Acids and SNPs

Wenjun Jiang, Rashid Aman, Zahir Ali, Gundra S. Rao, Magdy Mahfouz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Monitoring diseases caused by pathogens or by mutations in DNA sequences requires accurate, rapid, and sensitive tools to detect specific nucleic acid sequences. Here, we describe a new peptide nucleic acid (PNA)-based nucleic acid detection toolkit, termed PNA-powered diagnostics (PNA-Pdx). PNA-Pdx employs PNA probes that bind specifically to a target and are then detected in lateral flow assays. This can precisely detect a specific pathogen or genotype genomic sequence. PNA probes can also be designed to invade double-stranded DNAs (dsDNAs) to produce single-stranded DNAs for precise CRISPR-Cas12b-based detection of genomic SNPs without requiring the protospacer-adjacent motif (PAM), as Cas12b requires PAM sequences only for dsDNA targets. PNA-Pdx identified target nucleic acid sequences at concentrations as low as 2 copies/μL and precisely detected the SARS-CoV-2 genome in clinical samples in 40 min. Furthermore, the specific dsDNA invasion by the PNA coupled with CRISPR-Cas12b precisely detected genomic SNPs without PAM restriction. Overall, PNA-Pdx provides a novel toolkit for nucleic acid and SNP detection as well as highlights the benefits of engineering PNA probes for detecting nucleic acids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14209-14218
Number of pages10
Issue number38
StatePublished - Sep 26 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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