Predicting DNA hybridization kinetics from sequence

Nature Chemistry |

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Hybridization is a key molecular process in biology and biotechnology, but to date there is no predictive model for accurately determining hybridization rate constants based on sequence information. Here, we report a weighted neighbour voting (WNV) prediction algorithm, in which the hybridization rate constant of an unknown sequence is predicted based on similarity reactions with known rate constants. To construct this algorithm we first performed 210 fluorescence kinetics experiments to observe the hybridization kinetics of 100 different DNA target and probe pairs (36 nt sub-sequences of the CYCS and VEGF genes) at temperatures ranging from 28 to 55 °C. Automated feature selection and weighting optimization resulted in a final six-feature WNV model, which can predict hybridization rate constants of new sequences to within a factor of 3 with ∼91% accuracy, based on leave-one-out cross-validation. Accurate prediction of hybridization kinetics allows the design of efficient probe sequences for genomics research.