Guiding the Design of Synthetic DNA-Binding Molecules with Massively Parallel Sequencing
Genomic applications of DNA-binding molecules require an unbiased knowledge of their high affinity sites. We report the high-throughput analysis of pyrrole-imidazole polyamide DNA-binding specificity in a 1012-member DNA sequence library using affinity purification coupled with massively parallel sequencing. We find that even within this broad context, the canonical pairing rules are remarkably predictive of polyamide DNA-binding specificity. However, this approach also allows identification of unanticipated high affinity DNA-binding sites in the reverse orientation for polyamides containing ?/Im pairs. These insights allow the redesign of hairpin polyamides with different turn units capable of distinguishing 5?-WCGCGW-3? from 5?-WGCGCW-3?. Overall, this study displays the power of high-throughput methods to aid the optimal targeting of sequence-specific minor groove binding molecules, an essential underpinning for biological and nanotechnological applications.