The visual detection of specific double-stranded DNA sequences possesses great potential for the development of diagnostics. Zinc finger domains provide a powerful scaffold for creating custom DNA-binding proteins that recognize specific DNA sequences. We previously demonstrated sequence-enabled reassembly of TEM-1 β-lactamase (SEER-LAC), a system consisting of two inactive fragments of β-lactamase each linked to engineered zinc finger proteins (ZFPs). Here the SEER-LAC system was applied to develop ZFP arrays that function as simple devices to identify bacterial double-stranded DNA sequences. The ZFP arrays provided a quantitative assay with a detection limit of 50fmol of target DNA. The method could distinguish target DNA from non-target DNA within 5min. The ZFP arrays provided sufficient sensitivity and high specificity to recognize specific DNA sequences. These results suggest that ZFP arrays have the potential to be developed into a simple and rapid point-of-care (POC) diagnostic for the multiplexed detection of pathogens.
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