A helical amplification system composed of artificial nucleic acids†
Herein we report an amplification system of helical excess triggered by nucleic acid hybridization for the first time. It is usually impossible to prepare achiral nanostructures composed of nucleic acids because of their intrinsic chirality. We used serinol nucleic acid (SNA) oligomers for the preparation of achiral nanowires because SNA oligomers with symmetrical sequences are achiral. Nanowire formation was confirmed by atomic force microscopy and size exclusion chromatography. When a chiral nucleic acid with a sequence complementary to SNA was added to the nanostructure, helicity was induced and a strong circular dichroism signal was observed. The SNA nanowire could amplify the helicity of chiral nucleic acids through nucleobase stacks. The SNA nanostructures have potential for use as platforms to detect chiral biomolecules under aqueous conditions because SNA can be readily functionalized and is water-soluble.