Chiral DNA sequences as commutable reference standards for clinical genomics

Ira W. Deveson, Bindu Swapna Madala, James Blackburn, Chris Barker, Ted Wong, Kirston M. Barton, Martin A. Smith, D. Neil Watkins, & Tim R. Mercer

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Oct 05, 2018

Received Date: 20th September 2018

Chirality is a geometric property describing any object that is inequivalent to a mirror image of itself. Due to its 5’-3’ directionality, a DNA sequence is distinct from a mirrored sequence arranged in reverse nucleotide order, and is therefore chiral. A given sequence and its opposing chiral partner sequence share many properties, such as nucleotide composition and sequence entropy. Here we demonstrate that chiral DNA sequence pairs also perform equivalently during molecular and bioinformatic techniques that underpin modern genetic analysis, including PCR amplification, hybridization, whole-genome, target-enriched and nanopore sequencing, sequence alignment and variant detection. Given these shared properties, synthetic DNA sequences that directly mirror clinically relevant and/or analytically challenging regions of the human genome are ideal reference standards for clinical genomics. We show how the addition of chiral DNA standards to patient tumor samples can prevent false-positive and false-negative mutation detection and, thereby, improve diagnosis. Accordingly, we propose that chiral DNA standards can fulfill the unmet need for commutable internal reference standards in precision medicine.

Read in full at bioRxiv.

This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications


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Nature Communications

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