“Illusionary” Polymerase Activity Triggered by Metal Ions: Use for Molecular Logic-Gate Operations


  • This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MEST) (No. 2009-0080602 and No. R01-2007-000-11851-0), the Brain Korea 21 (BK21) Project.


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Metal ion, an astonishing illusionist: In a new concept, “illusionary” polymerase activity is intentionally triggered at T–T and C–C mismatched primers by Hg2+ and Ag+ ions, respectively. A novel strategy to construct molecular-scale logic gates utilizes the nonnatural polymerase activity induced by the metal ions by rational design of the primers and selection of the type of DNA polymerase (see picture).