Google Research

ProtSeq: towards high-throughput, single-molecule protein sequencing via amino acid conversion into DNA barcodes

iScience, vol. 25 (2022), pp. 32

Abstract

We demonstrate early progress toward constructing a high-throughput, single-molecule protein sequencing technology utilizing barcoded DNA aptamers (binders) to recognize terminal amino acids of peptides (targets) tethered on a next-generation sequencing chip. DNA binders deposit unique, amino acid identifying barcodes on the chip. The end goal is that over multiple binding cycles, a sequential chain of DNA barcodes will identify the amino acid sequence of a peptide. Toward this, we demonstrate successful target identification with two sets of target-binder pairs: DNA-DNA and Peptide-Protein. For DNA-DNA binding, we show assembly and sequencing of DNA barcodes over 6 consecutive binding cycles. Intriguingly, our computational simulation predicts that a small set of semi-selective DNA binders offers significant coverage of the human proteome. Toward this end, we introduce a binder discovery pipeline that ultimately could merge with the chip assay into a technology called ProtSeq, for future high-throughput, single-molecule protein sequencing.

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