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Article

One-step RNA pathogen detection with reverse transcriptase activity of a mutated thermostable Thermus aquaticus DNA polymerase

Citation
Kranaster R, Drum M, Engel N, Weidmann M, Hufert FT & Marx A (2010) One-step RNA pathogen detection with reverse transcriptase activity of a mutated thermostable Thermus aquaticus DNA polymerase. Biotechnology Journal, 5 (2), pp. 224-231. https://doi.org/10.1002/biot.200900200

Abstract
We describe the cloning and characterization of a mutated thermostable DNA polymerase from Thermus aquaticus (Taq) that exhibits an increased reverse transcriptase activity and is therefore designated for one-step PCR pathogen detection using established real-time detection methods. We demonstrate that this Taq polymerase mutant (Taq M1) has similar PCR sensitivity and nuclease activity as the respective Taq wild-type DNA polymerase. In addition, and in marked contrast to the wild-type, Taq M1 exhibits a significantly increased reverse transcriptase activity especially at high temperatures (>60°C). RNA generally hosts highly stable secondary structure motifs, such as hairpins and G-quadruplexes, which complicate, or in the worst case obviate, reverse transcription (RT). Thus, RT at high temperatures is desired to weaken or melt secondary structure motifs. To demonstrate the ability of Taq M1 for RNA detection of pathogens, we performed TaqMan probe-based diagnostics of Dobrava viruses by one-step RT-PCR. We found similar detection sensitivities compared to commercially available RT-PCR systems without further optimization of reaction parameters, thus making this enzyme highly suitable for any PCR probe-based RNA detection method.

Keywords
DNA polymerase; G-Quadruplex; RNA pathogen detection; RT-PCR; RNA secondary structures

Journal
Biotechnology Journal: Volume 5, Issue 2

StatusPublished
Author(s)Kranaster, Ramon; Drum, Matthias; Engel, Nicole; Weidmann, Manfred; Hufert, Frank T; Marx, Andreas
Publication date28/02/2010
PublisherWiley Blackwell
ISSN1860-6768
eISSN1860-7314
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