Complexes of DNA with fluorescent dyes are effective reagents for detection of autoimmune antibodies

Ivana Domljanovic, Annika Carstens, Anders Okholm, Jørgen Kjems, Christoffer Tandrup Nielsen, Niels H. H. Heegaard, Kira Astakhova

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To date, there are multiple assays developed that detect and quantify antibodies in biofluids. Nevertheless, there is still a lack of simple approaches that specifically detect autoimmune antibodies to double-stranded DNA. Herein we investigate the potential of novel nucleic acid complexes as targets for these antibodies. This is done in a simple, rapid and specific immunofluorescence assay. Specifically, employing 3D nanostructures (DNA origami), we present a new approach in the detection and study of human antibodies to DNA. We demonstrate the detection of anti-DNA antibodies that are characteristic of systemic lupus erythematosus, a chronic autoimmune disease with multiple manifestations. We tested the most potent non-covalent pairs of DNA and fluorescent dyes. Several complexes showed specific recognition of autoimmune antibodies in human samples of lupus patients using a simple one-step immunofluorescence method. This makes the novel assay developed herein a promising tool for research and point-of-care monitoring of anti-DNA antibodies. Using this method, we for the first time experimentally confirm that the disease-specific autoimmune antibodies are sensitive to the 3D structure of nucleic acids and not only to the nucleotide sequence, as was previously thought.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1925
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

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