(19)
(11)EP 3 259 281 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
05.01.2022 Bulletin 2022/01

(21)Application number: 16707193.5

(22)Date of filing:  17.02.2016
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
C07K 14/35(2006.01)
C12Q 1/68(2018.01)
(52)Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC):
C07K 14/35
(86)International application number:
PCT/GB2016/050390
(87)International publication number:
WO 2016/132123 (25.08.2016 Gazette  2016/34)

(54)

HETERO-PORES

HETEROPOREN

HÉTÉRO-PORES


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 19.02.2015 GB 201502809

(43)Date of publication of application:
27.12.2017 Bulletin 2017/52

(60)Divisional application:
21209860.2

(73)Proprietor: Oxford Nanopore Technologies plc
Oxford Science Park Oxford OX4 4DQ (GB)

(72)Inventors:
  • BROWN, Clive Gavin
    Oxford OX4 4GA (GB)
  • CLARKE, James Anthony
    Oxford OX4 4GA (GB)
  • HAMBLEY, Richard George
    Oxford OX4 4GA (GB)
  • HERON, Andrew John
    Oxford OX4 4GA (GB)
  • JAYASINGHE, Lakmal
    Oxford OX4 4GA (GB)
  • MILTON, John
    Oxford OX4 4GA (GB)
  • PUGH, Jonathan Bankes
    Oxford OX4 4GA (GB)
  • WALLACE, Elizabeth Jayne
    Oxford OX4 4GA (GB)

(74)Representative: J A Kemp LLP 
80 Turnmill Street
London EC1M 5QU
London EC1M 5QU (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-2015/166275
WO-A2-2012/107778
WO-A2-2010/034018
WO-A2-2013/098562
  
  • J. HUFF ET AL: "Functions of the Periplasmic Loop of the Porin MspA from Mycobacterium smegmatis", JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY, vol. 284, no. 15, 10 April 2009 (2009-04-10), pages 10223-10231, XP055231338, US ISSN: 0021-9258, DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M808599200
  • MAYSA MAHFOUD ET AL: "Topology of the Porin MspA in the Outer Membrane of Mycobacterium smegmatis", JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY, AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR BIOCHEMISTRY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, US, vol. 281, no. 9, 3 March 2006 (2006-03-03) , pages 5908-5915, XP008146690, ISSN: 0021-9258, DOI: 10.1074/JBC.M511642200 [retrieved on 2005-12-12]
  
Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


Description

Field of the invention



[0001] The invention relates to hetero-oligomeric pores derived from Msp. The invention also relates to polynucleotide characterisation using the hetero-oligomeric pores.

Background of the invention



[0002] There is currently a need for rapid and cheap polynucleotide (e.g. DNA or RNA) sequencing and identification technologies across a wide range of applications. Existing technologies are slow and expensive mainly because they rely on amplification techniques to produce large volumes of polynucleotide and require a high quantity of specialist fluorescent chemicals for signal detection.

[0003] Transmembrane pores (nanopores) have great potential as direct, electrical biosensors for polymers and a variety of small molecules. In particular, recent focus has been given to nanopores as a potential DNA sequencing technology.

[0004] When a potential is applied across a nanopore, there is a change in the current flow when an analyte, such as a nucleotide, resides transiently in the barrel for a certain period of time. Nanopore detection of the nucleotide gives a current change of known signature and duration. In the strand sequencing method, a single polynucleotide strand is passed through the pore and the identities of the nucleotides are derived. Strand sequencing can involve the use of a polynucleotide binding protein to control the movement of the polynucleotide through the pore.

[0005] The different forms of Msp are porins from Mycobacterium smegmatis. MspA is a 157 kDa octameric porin from Mycobacterium smegmatis. Wild-type MspA does not interact with DNA in a manner that allows the DNA to be characterised or sequenced. The structure of MspA and the modifications required for it to interact with and characterise DNA have been well documented (Butler, 2007, Nanopore Analysis of Nucleic Acids, Doctor of Philosophy Dissertation, University of Washington; Gundlach, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Sep 14; 107(37): 16060-5. Epub 2010 Aug 26; and International Application No. PCT/GB2012/050301 (published as WO/2012/107778). Negative charges, such as those at positions 90, 91 and 93, are typically removed from the pore to make it neutral.

Summary of the invention



[0006] The inventors have surprisingly demonstrated that hetero-oligomeric pores derived from Msp which have negatively charged narrowings are capable of characterising polynucleotides. The pores also have improved properties, such as an increased current range, which can facilitate polynucleotide characterisation.

[0007] Accordingly, the invention provides a hetero-oligomeric pore derived from a Mycobacterium smegmatis porin (Msp), which comprises a narrowing having a net negative charge; wherein the pore comprises monomers from MspA, MspB, MspC and/or MspD; wherein one of the monomers in the pore differs from the rest of the monomers in the pore; and wherein the pore is capable of characterising polynucleotides.

[0008] The invention also provides:
  • a method of characterising a target polynucleotide, comprising:
    1. a) contacting the polynucleotide with a hetero-oligomeric pore of the invention such that the polynucleotide moves through the pore; and
    2. b) taking one or more measurements as the polynucleotide moves with respect to the pore, wherein the measurements are indicative of one or more characteristics of the polynucleotide, and thereby characterising the target polynucleotide.


[0009] Also described herein is:
  • a mutant Msp monomer comprising a variant of the sequence shown in SEQ ID NO: 2, wherein the variant comprises a negatively charged amino acid at one or more of the positions which correspond to positions 88, 90, 91, 92, 93, 102, 103 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2;
  • a kit for characterising a target polynucleotide comprising (a) a hetero-oligomeric pore of the invention and (b) the components of a membrane;
  • an apparatus for characterising target polynucleotides in a sample, comprising (a) a plurality of hetero-oligomeric pores of the invention and (b) a plurality of membranes;
  • a method of characterising a target polynucleotide, comprising:
    1. a) contacting the polynucleotide with a hetero-oligomeric pore of the invention, a polymerase and labelled nucleotides such that phosphate labelled species are sequentially added to the target polynucleotide by the polymerase, wherein the phosphate species contain a label specific for each nucleotide; and
    2. b) detecting the phosphate labelled species using the pore and thereby characterising the polynucleotide;
  • a method of forming a sensor for characterising a target polynucleotide, comprising forming a complex between a hetero-oligomeric pore of the invention and a polynucleotide binding protein and thereby forming a sensor for characterising the target polynucleotide; and
  • a sensor for characterising a target polynucleotide, comprising a complex between a hetero-oligomeric pore of the invention and a polynucleotide binding protein.

Description of the Figures



[0010] Figure 1 shows a cartoon representation of the wild-type MspA nanopore. Region 1 corresponds to the cap region and includes residues 1-72 and 122-184. Region 2 corresponds to the barrel region and includes residues 73-82 and 112-121. Region 3 corresponds to the narrowing and includes residues 83-111.

[0011] Figure 2 shows example current traces (y-axis label = Current (pA), x-axis label = Time (s) for all three traces) of when a helicase (T4 Dda - E94C/C109A/C136A/A360C) controlled the translocation of the DNA construct X through a number of different MspA nanopores A = MspA - ((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K and deletion, of the following amino acids in seven monomers L74/G75/D118/L119 and the following mutations in one monomer of D56N/E59R/L88N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL, where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus, and deletions of the following amino acids in one monomer of L74/G75/D118/L119), B = MspA - ((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D91N/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K and deletion, of the following amino acids in seven monomers L74/G75/D118/L119 and the following mutations in one monomer of D56N/E59R/L88N/D91N/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL, where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus, and deletions of the following amino acids in one monomer of L74/G75/D118/L119) and C = MspA - ((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D91G/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K and deletion, of the following amino acids in seven monomers L74/G75/D118/L119 and the following mutations in one monomer of D56N/E59R/L88N/D91G/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL, where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus, and deletions of the following amino acids in one monomer of L74/G75/D118/L119).

[0012] Figure 3 shows example current traces (y-axis label = Current (pA), x-axis label = Time (s) for all three traces) of when a helicase (T4 Dda - E94C/C109A/C136A/A360C) controlled the translocation of the DNA construct X through a number of different MspA nanopores D = MspA - ((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D91G/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K and deletion, of the following amino acids in seven monomers L74/G75/D118/L119 and the following mutations in one monomer of D56N/E59R/L88N/D91G/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL, where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus, and deletions of the following amino acids in one monomer of L74/G75/D118/L119), E = MspA - ((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D91Q/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K and deletion, of the following amino acids in seven monomers L74/G75/D118/L119 and the following mutations in one monomer of D56N/E59R/L88N/D91Q/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL, where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus, and deletions of the following amino acids in one monomer of L74/G75/D118/L119) and F = MspA - ((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56F/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56F/E59R/L88N/D91G/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers D56F/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K and deletion, of the following amino acids in seven monomers L74/G75/D118/L119 and the following mutations in one monomer of D56F/E59R/L88N/D91G/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL, where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus, and deletions of the following amino acids in one monomer of L74/G75/D118/L119).

[0013] Figure 4 shows an example current trace (y-axis label = Current (pA), x-axis label = Time (s)) of when a helicase (T4 Dda - E94C/C109A/C136A/A360C) controlled the translocation of the DNA construct X through MspA nanopore G = MspA - ((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D91Q/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K and deletion, of the following amino acids in seven monomers L74/G75/D118/L119 and the following mutations in one monomer of D56N/E59R/L88N/D91Q/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL, where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus, and deletions of the following amino acids in one monomer of L74/G75/D118/L119),

[0014] Figure 5 shows the DNA construct X used in Example 1. The region labelled 1 corresponded to 30 SpC3 spacers. The region labelled 2 corresponded to SEQ ID NO: 27. The region labelled 3 corresponded to four iSp18 spacers. The region labelled 4 corresponded to SEQ ID NO: 28. The section labelled 5 corresponded to four 5-nitroindoles. The region labelled 6 corresponded to SEQ ID NO: 29. The region labelled 7 corresponded to SEQ ID NO: 30. The region labelled 8 corresponded to SEQ ID NO: 31 which had four iSp18 spacers (the region labelled 9) attached at the 3' end of SEQ ID NO: 31. At the opposite end of the iSp18 spacers was a 3' cholesterol tether (labelled 10). The region labelled 11 corresponded to four SpC3 spacers.

Description of the Sequence Listing



[0015] SEQ ID NO: 1 shows the codon optimised polynucleotide sequence encoding the wild-type MspA monomer. This mutant lacks the signal sequence.

[0016] SEQ ID NO: 2 shows the amino acid sequence of the mature form of the wild-type MspA monomer. This mutant lacks the signal sequence.

[0017] SEQ ID NO: 3 shows amino acids 83 to 111 of SEQ ID NO: 2.

[0018] SEQ ID NO: 4 shows an artificial amino acid sequence for comparison with SEQ ID NO: 3.

[0019] SEQ ID NOs: 5 to 7 show the amino acid sequences of MspB, C and D.

[0020] SEQ ID NO: 8 shows the polynucleotide sequence encoding the Phi29 DNA polymerase. SEQ ID NO: 9 shows the amino acid sequence of the Phi29 DNA polymerase.

[0021] SEQ ID NO: 10 shows the codon optimised polynucleotide sequence derived from the sbcB gene from E. coli. It encodes the exonuclease I enzyme (EcoExo I) from E. coli.

[0022] SEQ ID NO: 11 shows the amino acid sequence of exonuclease I enzyme (EcoExo I) from E. coli.

[0023] SEQ ID NO: 12 shows the codon optimised polynucleotide sequence derived from the xthA gene from E. coli. It encodes the exonuclease III enzyme from E. coli.

[0024] SEQ ID NO: 13 shows the amino acid sequence of the exonuclease III enzyme from E. coli. This enzyme performs distributive digestion of 5' monophosphate nucleosides from one strand of double stranded DNA (dsDNA) in a 3' - 5' direction. Enzyme initiation on a strand requires a 5' overhang of approximately 4 nucleotides.

[0025] SEQ ID NO: 14 shows the codon optimised polynucleotide sequence derived from the recJ gene from T. thermophilus. It encodes the RecJ enzyme from T. thermophilus (TthRecJ-cd).

[0026] SEQ ID NO: 15 shows the amino acid sequence of the RecJ enzyme from T. thermophilus (TthRecJ-cd). This enzyme performs processive digestion of 5' monophosphate nucleosides from ssDNA in a 5' - 3' direction. Enzyme initiation on a strand requires at least 4 nucleotides.

[0027] SEQ ID NO: 16 shows the codon optimised polynucleotide sequence derived from the bacteriophage lambda exo (redX) gene. It encodes the bacteriophage lambda exonuclease.

[0028] SEQ ID NO: 17 shows the amino acid sequence of the bacteriophage lambda exonuclease. The sequence is one of three identical subunits that assemble into a trimer. The enzyme performs highly processive digestion of nucleotides from one strand of dsDNA, in a 5'-3'direction (http://www.neb.com/nebecomm/products/productM0262.asp). Enzyme initiation on a strand preferentially requires a 5' overhang of approximately 4 nucleotides with a 5' phosphate.

[0029] SEQ ID NO: 18 shows the amino acid sequence of Hel308 Mbu.

[0030] SEQ ID NO: 19 shows the amino acid sequence of Hel308 Csy.

[0031] SEQ ID NO: 20 shows the amino acid sequence of Hel308 Tga.

[0032] SEQ ID NO: 21 shows the amino acid sequence of Hel308 Mhu.

[0033] SEQ ID NO: 22 shows the amino acid sequence of TraI Eco.

[0034] SEQ ID NO: 23 shows the amino acid sequence of XPD Mbu.

[0035] SEQ ID NO: 24 shows the amino acid sequence of Dda 1993.

[0036] SEQ ID NO: 25 shows the amino acid sequence of Trwc Cba.

[0037] SEQ ID NO: 26 shows the amino acid sequence of the BasTL. This sequence is attached at the C terminus of the MspA monomers.

[0038] SEQ ID NO: 27 shows a polynucleotide sequence used in Example 1.

[0039] SEQ ID NO: 28 shows a polynucleotide sequence used in Example 1.

[0040] SEQ ID NO: 29 shows a polynucleotide sequence used in Example 1.

[0041] SEQ ID NO: 30 shows a polynucleotide sequence used in Example 1.

[0042] SEQ ID NO: 31 shows a polynucleotide sequence used in Example 1. Attached to the 3' end of SEQ ID NO: 31 is six iSp18 spacers which are attached at the opposite end to two thymines and a 3' cholesterol TEG.

Detailed description of the invention



[0043] It is to be understood that different applications of the disclosed products and methods may be tailored to the specific needs in the art. It is also to be understood that the terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments of the invention only, and is not intended to be limiting.

[0044] In addition as used in this specification and the appended claims, the singular forms "a", "an", and "the" include plural referents unless the content clearly dictates otherwise. Thus, for example, reference to "a polynucleotide" includes two or more polynucleotides, reference to "a polynucleotide binding protein includes two or more such proteins, reference to "a helicase" includes two or more helicases, reference to "a monomer" refers to two or more monomers, reference to "a pore" includes two or more pores and the like.

Hetero-oligomeric pores



[0045] The invention provides hetero-oligomeric pores derived from or based on Msp which comprise a narrowing having a net negative charge. The pores of the invention are ideal for characterising, such as sequencing, polynucleotide sequences because they can discriminate between different nucleotides with a high degree of sensitivity. The pores can surprisingly distinguish between the four nucleotides in DNA and RNA. The pores of the invention can even distinguish between methylated and unmethylated nucleotides. The base resolution of pores of the invention is surprisingly high. The pores show almost complete separation of all four DNA nucleotides. The pores further discriminate between deoxycytidine monophosphate (dCMP) and methyl-dCMP based on the dwell time in the pore and the current flowing through the pore.

[0046] The pores have improved polynucleotide reading properties i.e. display improved polynucleotide capture and nucleotide discrimination. In particular, the pores of the invention capture nucleotides and polynucleotides more easily than the wild type. In addition, the pores of the invention display an increased current range, which makes it easier to discriminate between different nucleotides, and a reduced variance of states, which increases the signal-to-noise ratio. In addition, the number of nucleotides contributing to the current as the polynucleotide moves through pores constructed from the mutants is decreased. This makes it easier to identify a direct relationship between the observed current as the polynucleotide moves through the pore and the polynucleotide sequence. The pores of the invention may also display improved movement of the polynucleotide as discussed in more detail below.

[0047] The pores of the invention can also discriminate between different nucleotides under a range of conditions. In particular, the pores will discriminate between nucleotides under conditions that are favourable to the characterising, such as sequencing, of nucleic acids. The extent to which the pores of the invention can discriminate between different nucleotides can be controlled by altering the applied potential, the salt concentration, the buffer, the temperature and the presence of additives, such as urea, betaine and DTT. This allows the function of the pores to be fine-tuned, particularly when sequencing. This is discussed in more detail below. The pores of the invention may also be used to identify polynucleotide polymers from the interaction with one or more monomers rather than on a nucleotide by nucleotide basis.

[0048] In general, the main advantage of hetero-oligomeric pores over homo-oligomeric pores is the ability to change, alter or mutate one or more of the monomers of the pore relative to (or differently from) the other monomers. Any part of the one or more monomers may be altered or mutated, for instance the part of the one or more monomers which forms the part of the pore which interacts with the polynucleotide or the part of the one or more monomers which forms the top of the pore and which interacts with a polynucleotide binding protein. By mutating the pore asymmetrically (i.e. differently in one or more of the monomers), the range, shape and level of the current signal obtained from the pore, as well as the signal to noise ratio, can be altered in way that cannot be achieved by mutating all of the monomers.

[0049] A pore of the invention may be isolated, substantially isolated, purified or substantially purified. A pore of the invention is isolated or purified if it is completely free of any other components, such as lipids or other pores. A pore is substantially isolated if it is mixed with carriers or diluents which will not interfere with its intended use. For instance, a pore is substantially isolated or substantially purified if it is present in a form that comprises less than 10%, less than 5%, less than 2% or less than 1% of other components, such as triblock copolymers, lipids or other pores. Alternatively, a pore of the invention may be present in a membrane. Suitable membranes are discussed below.

[0050] A pore of the invention may be present as an individual or single pore. Alternatively, a pore of the invention may be present in a homologous or heterologous population of two or more pores.

[0051] The pores of the invention are hetero-oligomeric. The hetero-oligomeric pore contains sufficient monomers to form the pore. The monomers may be of any type. The pore typically comprises at least 7, at least 8, at least 9 or at least 10 monomers, such as 7, 8, 9 or 10 monomers. The pore preferably comprises eight or nine monomers.

[0052] A pore is hetero-oligomeric if at least one of the monomers differs from the rest of the monomers in the pore. The at least one monomer may be different in any way. The at least one monomer is typically different from the others on the basis of its amino acid sequence. The at least one monomer may be different from the rest of the monomers on the basis of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 15, 20 or more amino acid differences.

[0053] A monomer which differs from the rest of the monomers in the pore is preferably different from the rest of the monomers in the pore on the basis of the amino acid sequence of its region which forms part of the narrowing. The monomer is preferably different from the rest of the monomers in the pore on the basis of the amino acid sequence of its region which forms part of the narrowing being more negatively charged than the corresponding regions in the rest of the monomers. The monomer preferably comprises one or more negatively charged amino acids in its region which forms part of the narrowing which are not present in the corresponding positions of the other monomers..

[0054] The hetero-oligomeric pore typically comprises monomers from one type of Msp, such as MspA, MspB, MspC or MspD, and one or more of the monomers in the pore has been modified such that it is different from the others. The hetero-oligomeric pore may comprise monomers from two or more different Msp pores, such as two or more of MspA, MspB, MspC and MspD.

[0055] Hetero-oligomeric pores can be made using methods known in the art (e.g. Protein Sci. 2002 Jul; 11(7):1813-24).

[0056] The narrowing has a net negative charge. The narrowing is typically the narrowest part of the channel of the pore. The narrowing of the pore is typically not part of the cap region or the barrel region. The internal diameter of the narrowing (i.e. the diameter of the channel through the narrowing) is typically about 25 ångströms (Å) or less, such as about 22 Å or less, about 20 Å or less, about 18 Å or less, about 16 Å or less, about 14 Å or less or about 12 Å or less.

[0057] The narrowing has a net negative charge. The narrowing has a net negative charge at physiological pH. The narrowing typically has a net negative charge when the pH is in the range of 2 to 12, 2.5 to 11, 3 to 10, more preferably in the range of 4 to 9, 5 to 8.5 or even more preferably in the range of 6 to 8 or 6.5 to 7.5.

[0058] The net charge of the narrowing can be measured using methods known in the art. For instance, the net charge of the narrowing can be calculated at a specific pH using routine methods.

[0059] The narrowing typically comprises one or more negatively charged amino acids. The narrowing may comprise any number of negatively charged amino acids, such as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 or more negatively charged amino acids. The narrowing preferably comprises one, two, three or four negatively charged amino acids. A negatively charged amino acid is an amino acid with a net negative charge. Negatively charged amino acids include, but are not limited to, aspartic acid (D) and glutamic acid (E). The skilled person can also design other negatively charged amino acids. For instance, a cysteine (C) can be modified with a negatively charged molecule.

[0060] The remaining amino acids in the narrowing are preferably not charged. Amino acids which are not charged are typically uncharged, non-polar and/or aromatic amino acids. The uncharged amino acids, non-polar amino acids and/or aromatic amino acids can be naturally occurring or non-naturally-occurring. They may be synthetic or modified. Uncharged amino acids have no net charge. Suitable uncharged amino acids include, but are not limited to, cysteine (C), serine (S), threonine (T), methionine (M), asparagines (N) and glutamine (Q). Non-polar amino acids have non-polar side chains. Suitable non-polar amino acids include, but are not limited to, glycine (G), alanine (A), proline (P), isoleucine (I), leucine (L) and valine (V). Aromatic amino acids have an aromatic side chain. Suitable aromatic amino acids include, but are not limited to, histidine (H), phenylalanine (F), tryptophan (W) and tyrosine (Y). Any number and combination of these amino acids may be present in the narrowing in addition to one or more negatively charged amino acids.

[0061] If the narrowing comprises one or more positively charged amino acids, there are preferably fewer positively charged amino acids than negatively charged amino acids in the narrowing. The narrowing preferably does not comprise any positively charged amino acids. Positively charged amino acids include, but are not limited to, histidine (H), lysine (K) and arginine (R).

[0062] The monomers in the pore are preferably approximately the same length or are the same length. The barrels of the monomers in the pore are preferably approximately the same length or are the same length. Length may be measured in number of amino acids and/or units of length. Barrel deletions are discussed in more detail below. The monomers in the pore preferably have the same number of amino acids deleted from positions 72 to 82 and/or positions 111 to 121 of SEQ ID NO: 2. One or more of the monomers may be attached to a tag or BasTL sequence (SEQ ID NO: 26) or fragment thereof which makes it longer than the other monomers in the pore.

[0063] In all the embodiments discussed above, one or more, such as 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10, of the mutant monomers may be chemically modified as discussed below.

[0064] The pore preferably comprises eight monomers each comprising the sequence shown in SEQ ID NO: 2 or a variant thereof. SEQ ID NO: 2 is the wild-type MspA monomer. A variant of SEQ ID NO: 2 is a polypeptide that has an amino acid sequence which varies from that of SEQ ID NO: 2 and which retains its ability to form a pore. A variant or each variant may comprise only amino acid substitutions compared with SEQ ID NO: 2 or may comprise amino acid deletions. Variants are discussed in more detail below.

[0065] The hetero-oligomeric pore may comprise any number of monomers comprising SEQ ID NO: 2, such as 1, 2, 3 or 4 monomers comprising SEQ ID NO: 2. The pore may comprise may comprise any number of monomers comprising a variant of SEQ ID NO: 2, such as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 monomers comprising a variant of SEQ ID NO: 2. All of the monomers in the pore preferably comprise a variant of SEQ ID NO: 2, i.e. all of the monomers in the pore have been modified in some way compared with the wild type sequence shown in SEQ ID NO: 2. Suitable modifications are discussed below.

[0066] The pore may comprise seven monomers each comprising a variant of SEQ ID NO: 2 comprising D90N, D91N and D93N and one monomer comprising SEQ ID NO: 2.

[0067] Amino acids 83 to 111 in SEQ ID NO: 2 contribute to the narrowing of a pore comprising monomers comprising SEQ ID NO: 2. The narrowing in a pore of the invention preferably comprises the amino acids in each monomer which correspond to positions 83 to 111 of SEQ ID NO: 2. Amino acids in a monomer comprising a variant of SEQ ID NO: 2 correspond to positions in SEQ ID NO: 2 with which they align. Any method of alignment may be used, including any of those discussed below. If only amino acids substitutions are made to SEQ ID NO: 2 to produce a variant, the amino acids in the variant which correspond to positions 83 to 111 in SEQ ID NO: 2 will be numbered 83 to 111, i.e. position 90 in the variant corresponds with position 90 in SEQ ID NO: 2. If parts of SEQ ID NO: 2 are deleted to produce the variant or amino acids are added to SEQ ID NO: 2 to form the variant, the amino acids in the variant which correspond to positions 83 to 111 in SEQ ID NO: 2 will not be numbered 83 to 111. By way of illustration, positions 71 to 111 of SEQ ID NO: 2 (i.e. SEQ ID NO: 3) are shown below. The corresponding part of a variant of SEQ ID NO: 2, which only differs from SEQ ID NO: 2 by the deletion of positions 72 and 73 (from the barrel) and the substitutions D91N and D93N (in bold), is shown in SEQ ID NO: 4.



[0068] Positions D90, N91 and N93 in the variant (underlined in SEQ ID NO: 4) correspond to positions D88, D89 and D91 in SEQ ID NO: 2 respectively (because amino acids 72 and 73 in SEQ ID NO: 2 are deleted from the variant). Based on this, a skilled person can determine which amino acids in a variant correspond with positions 83 to 111 in SEQ ID NO: 2.

[0069] The narrowing more preferably comprises the amino acids in each monomer which correspond to positions 88, 90, 91, 92, 93, 102, 103 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2. If a monomer or each monomer comprises a variant of SEQ ID NO: 2 in which only amino acids substitutions are made, the narrowing preferably comprises the amino acids at positions 88, 90, 91, 92, 93, 102, 103 and 105 in the variant.

[0070] The narrowing more preferably comprises the amino acids in each monomer which correspond to positions 90, 91, 92, 93, 102, 103 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2. If a monomer or each monomer comprises a variant of SEQ ID NO: 2 in which only amino acids substitutions are made, the narrowing preferably comprises the amino acids at positions 90, 91, 92, 93, 102, 103 and 105 in the variant.

[0071] The narrowing more preferably comprises the amino acids in each monomer which correspond to positions 90, 91, 93 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2. If a monomer or each monomer comprises a variant of SEQ ID NO: 2 in which only amino acids substitutions are made, the narrowing more preferably comprises the amino acids at positions 90, 91, 93 and 105 in the variant.

[0072] A monomer in the pore may preferably differ from the rest of the monomers by comprising a negatively charged amino acid at one or more of the positions which correspond to positions 88, 90, 91, 92, 93, 102, 103 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2 or positions 88, 90, 91, 92, 93, 102, 103 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2. A negatively charged amino acid may be present at any number and combination of the positions which correspond to positions 88, 90, 91, 92, 93, 102, 103 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2 or positions 90, 91, 92, 93, 102, 103 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2. Preferred combinations are discussed in more detail below. Negatively charged amino acids are discussed above. If each monomer in the pore comprises a variant of SEQ ID NO: 2 in which only amino acids substitutions are made, a monomer in the pore may preferably differ from the rest of the monomers by comprising a negatively charged amino acid at one or more of positions 88, 90, 91, 92, 93, 102, 103 and 105 or positions 90, 91, 92, 93, 102, 103 and 105.

[0073] A monomer in the pore may preferably differ from the rest of the monomers by comprising a negatively charged amino acid at one or more of the positions which correspond to positions 90, 91, 93 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2. A negatively charged amino acid may be present at any number and combination of positions which correspond to positions 90, 91, 93 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2, namely (i) 90; (ii) 91; (iii) 93; (iv) 105; (v) 90 and 91; (vi) 90 and 93; (vii) 90 and 105; (viii) 91 and 93; (ix) 91 and 105; (x) 93 and 105; (xi) 90, 91 and 93; (xii) 90, 91 and 105; (xiii) 90, 93 and 105; (xiv) 91, 93 and 105; or (xv) 90, 91, 93 and 105. A monomer in the pore may preferably differ from the rest of the monomers by comprising a negatively charged amino acid at the position(s) which correspond(s) to position(s) (i) 90; (ii) 91; (iii) 93; (iv) 90 and 91; (v) 90 and 93; (vi) 91 and 93; (vii) 105; (viii) 90 and 105; or (ix) 90, 91 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2. Negatively charged amino acids are discussed above. If each monomer in the pore comprises a variant of SEQ ID NO: 2 in which only amino acids substitutions are made, a monomer in the pore may preferably differ from the rest of the monomers by comprising a negatively charged amino acid at one or more of positions 90, 91, 93 and 105. The one or more monomers may differ by comprising a negatively charged amino acid at any combination of positions 90, 91, 93 and 105 discussed in (i) to (xv) or (x) to (xviii) above.

[0074] A monomer may differ from the rest of the monomers by comprising one or more negatively charged amino acids, such as 1, 2, 3 or 4 negatively charged amino acids, in its narrowing forming region. For instance, a monomer may preferably differ from the rest of the monomers by comprising a negatively charged amino acid at one or more of the positions which correspond to positions 90, 91, 93 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2. The monomer may comprise a negatively charged amino acid at any number and combination of the positions which correspond to positions 90, 91, 93 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2 discussed above in (i) to (xv) or (x) to (xviii).

[0075] In any of the embodiments discussed above, the rest of the monomers preferably comprise an amino acid which is not charged at the position(s) which correspond(s) to position(s) 90 and/or 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2. The rest of the monomers preferably comprise an amino acid which is not charged at the position(s) which correspond(s) to position(s) 90, 91 and/or 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2. If each monomer in the pore comprises a variant of SEQ ID NO: 2 in which only amino acids substitutions are made, the rest of the monomers preferably comprise an amino acid which is not charged at position(s) 90 and/or 91 or positions 90, 91 and/or 93. Any of the amino acids which are not charged and which are discussed above may be present. The amino acid is preferably asparagine (N).

[0076] A preferred pore of the invention is one in which:

(a) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the position which corresponds to position 90 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an asparagine (N) at the position which corresponds to position 90 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(b) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the position which corresponds to position 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the remaining monomers comprise an asparagine (N) at the position which corresponds to position 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(c) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an asparagine (N) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(d) one monomer comprises a glutamic acid (E) at the position which corresponds to position 90 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an asparagine (N) at the position which corresponds to position 90 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(e) one monomer comprises a glutamic acid (E) at the position which corresponds to position 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an asparagine (N) at the position which corresponds to position 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(f) one monomer comprises an glutamic acid (E) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an asparagine (N) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(g) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the position which corresponds to position 90 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise a glutamine (Q) at the position which corresponds to position 90 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(h) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the position which corresponds to position 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the remaining monomers comprise a glutamine (Q) at the position which corresponds to position 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(i) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise a glutamine (Q) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(j) one monomer comprises a glutamic acid (E) at the position which corresponds to position 90 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise a glutamine (Q) at the position which corresponds to position 90 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(k) one monomer comprises a glutamic acid (E) at the position which corresponds to position 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise a glutamine (Q) at the position which corresponds to position 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(1) one monomer comprises an glutamic acid (E) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise a glutamine (Q) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(m) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the position which corresponds to position 88 of SEQ ID NO: 2 wherein the one monomer preferably does not comprise L88D/I105K or does not only comprise L88D/I105K and the rest of the monomers comprise an asparagine (N) at the position which corresponds to position 88 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(n) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the position which corresponds to position 88 of SEQ ID NO: 2 wherein the one monomer preferably does not comprise L88D/I105K or does not only comprise L88D/I105K and the rest of the monomers comprise a glutamine (Q) at the position which corresponds to position 88 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(o) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the position which corresponds to position 103 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise a serine (S) at the position which corresponds to position 103 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(p) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the position which corresponds to position 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an isoleucine (I) at the position which corresponds to position 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(q) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the positions which correspond to positions 88 and 90 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an asparagine (N) at the positions which correspond to positions 88 and 90 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(r) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the positions which correspond to positions 88 and 90 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise a glutamine (Q) at the positions which correspond to positions 88 and 90 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(s) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 103 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an asparagine (N) and serine (S) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 103 of SEQ ID NO: 2 respectively;

(t) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 103 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise a glutamine (Q) and serine (S) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 103 of SEQ ID NO: 2 respectively;

(u) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an asparagine (N) and isoleucine (I) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2 respectively;

(v) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise a glutamine (Q) and isoleucine (I) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2 respectively;

(w) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an asparagine (N) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(x) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise a glutamine (Q) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(y) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the positions which correspond to positions 91 and 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an asparagine (N) at the positions which correspond to positions 91 and 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(z) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the positions which correspond to positions 91 and 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise a glutamine (Q) at the positions which correspond to positions 91 and 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(aa) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the position which corresponds to position 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an asparagine (N) at the position which corresponds to position 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(ab) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the position which corresponds to position 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise a glutamine (Q) at the position which corresponds to position 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(ac) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the position which corresponds to position 90 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an aspartic acid (D) at the position which corresponds to position 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(ad) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an aspartic acid (D) at the position which corresponds to position 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(ae) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the positions which correspond to positions 91 and 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an aspartic acid (D) at the position which corresponds to position 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(af) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the position which corresponds to position 90 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an aspartic acid (D) at the position which corresponds to position 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(ag) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the positions which correspond to positions 88 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an asparagine (N) and isoleucine (I) at the positions which correspond to positions 88 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2 respectively; or

(ah) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the positions which correspond to positions 88 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise a glutamine (Q) and isoleucine (I) at the positions which correspond to positions 88 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2 respectively.



[0077] In any of (a) to (ah) above, if each monomer in the pore comprises a variant of SEQ ID NO: 2 in which only amino acids substitutions are made, the positions which correspond to positions in SEQ ID NO: 2 have the same number as the positions in SEQ ID NO: 2. For instance, if in (a) each monomer in the pore comprises a variant of SEQ ID NO: 2 in which only amino acids substitutions are made, one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at position 90 and the rest of the monomers comprise an asparagine (N) at position 90.

[0078] The pore preferably comprises eight monomers each comprising the sequence shown in SEQ ID NO: 5, 6 or 7 or a variant thereof. SEQ ID NO: 5 is the wild-type MspB monomer. SEQ ID NO: 6 is the wild-type MspC monomer. SEQ ID NO: 7 is the wild-type MspD monomer. A variant of SEQ ID NO: 5, 6 or 7 is a polypeptide that has an amino acid sequence which varies from that of SEQ ID NO: 5, 6 or 7 and which retains its ability to form a pore. A variant or each variant may comprise only amino acid substitutions compared with SEQ ID NO: 5, 6 or 7 or may comprise amino acid deletions. Variants are discussed in more detail below.

[0079] The hetero-oligomeric pore may comprise any number of monomers comprising SEQ ID NO: 5, 6 or 7, such as 1, 2, 3 or 4 monomers comprising SEQ ID NO: 5, 6 or 7. The pore may comprise may comprise any number of monomers comprising a variant of SEQ ID NO: 5, 6 or 7, such as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 monomers comprising a variant of SEQ ID NO: 5, 6 or 7. All of the monomers in the pore preferably comprise a variant of SEQ ID NO: 5, 6 or 7, i.e. all of the monomers in the pore have been modified in some way compared with the wild type sequence shown in SEQ ID NO: 5, 6 or 7. Suitable modifications are discussed below.

[0080] Amino acids 83 to 111 in SEQ ID NO: 5 contribute to the narrowing of a pore comprising monomers comprising SEQ ID NO: 5. The narrowing in a pore of the invention preferably comprises the amino acids in each monomer which correspond to positions 83 to 111 of SEQ ID NO: 5. Amino acids 83 to 111 in SEQ ID NO: 6 contribute to the narrowing of a pore comprising monomers comprising SEQ ID NO: 6. The narrowing in a pore of the invention preferably comprises the amino acids in each monomer which correspond to positions 83 to 111 of SEQ ID NO: 6. Amino acids 82 to 110 in SEQ ID NO: 7 contribute to the narrowing of a pore comprising monomers comprising SEQ ID NO: 7. The narrowing in a pore of the invention preferably comprises the amino acids in each monomer which correspond to positions 82 to 110 of SEQ ID NO: 7. Corresponding positions and alignment are discussed above with reference to SEQ ID NO: 2.

[0081] The narrowing more preferably comprises the amino acids in each monomer which correspond to positions 88, 90, 91, 92, 93, 102, 103 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 5 or 6. If a monomer or each monomer comprises a variant of SEQ ID NO: 5 or 6 in which only amino acids substitutions are made, the narrowing preferably comprises the amino acids at positions 88, 90, 91, 92, 93, 102, 103 and 105 in the variant.

[0082] The narrowing more preferably comprises the amino acids in each monomer which correspond to positions 87, 89, 90, 91, 92, 101, 102 and 104 of SEQ ID NO: 7. If a monomer or each monomer comprises a variant of SEQ ID NO: 7 in which only amino acids substitutions are made, the narrowing preferably comprises the amino acids at positions 87, 89, 90, 91, 92, 101, 102 and 104 in the variant.

[0083] The narrowing more preferably comprises the amino acids in each monomer which correspond to positions 90, 91, 92, 93, 102, 103 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 5 or 6. If a monomer or each monomer comprises a variant of SEQ ID NO: 5 or 6 in which only amino acids substitutions are made, the narrowing preferably comprises the amino acids at positions 90, 91, 92, 93, 102, 103 and 105 in the variant.

[0084] The narrowing more preferably comprises the amino acids in each monomer which correspond to positions 89, 90, 91, 92, 101, 102 and 104 of SEQ ID NO: 7. If a monomer or each monomer comprises a variant of SEQ ID NO: 7 in which only amino acids substitutions are made, the narrowing preferably comprises the amino acids at positions 89, 90, 91, 92, 101, 102 and 104 in the variant.

[0085] The narrowing more preferably comprises the amino acids in each monomer which correspond to positions 90, 91, 93 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 5 or 6. If a monomer or each monomer comprises a variant of SEQ ID NO: 5 or 6 in which only amino acids substitutions are made, the narrowing more preferably comprises the amino acids at positions 90, 91, 93 and 105 in the variant.

[0086] The narrowing more preferably comprises the amino acids in each monomer which correspond to positions 89, 90, 91 and 104 of SEQ ID NO: 7. If a monomer or each monomer comprises a variant of SEQ ID NO: 7 in which only amino acids substitutions are made, the narrowing more preferably comprises the amino acids at positions 89, 90, 92 and 104 in the variant.

[0087] A monomer in the pore may preferably differ from the rest of the monomers by comprising a negatively charged amino acid at one or more of the positions which correspond to positions 88, 90, 91, 92, 93, 102, 103 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 5 or 6 or positions 88, 90, 91, 92, 93, 102, 103 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 5 or 6. A negatively charged amino acid may be present at any number and combination of the positions which correspond to positions 88, 90, 91, 92, 93, 102, 103 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 5 or 6 or positions 90, 91, 92, 93, 102, 103 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 5 or 6. Preferred combinations are discussed in more detail below. Negatively charged amino acids are discussed above. If each monomer in the pore comprises a variant of SEQ ID NO: 5 or 6 in which only amino acids substitutions are made, a monomer in the pore may preferably differ from the rest of the monomers by comprising a negatively charged amino acid at one or more of positions 88, 90, 91, 92, 93, 102, 103 and 105 or positions 90, 91, 92, 93, 102, 103 and 105.

[0088] A monomer in the pore may preferably differ from the rest of the monomers by comprising a negatively charged amino acid at one or more of the positions which correspond to positions 87, 89, 90, 91, 92, 101, 102 and 104 of SEQ ID NO: 7 or positions 87, 89, 90, 91, 92, 101, 102 and 104 of SEQ ID NO: 7. A negatively charged amino acid may be present at any number and combination of the positions which correspond to positions 87, 89, 90, 91, 92, 101, 102 and 104 of SEQ ID NO: 7 or positions 87, 89, 90, 91, 92, 101, 102 and 104 of SEQ ID NO: 7. Preferred combinations are discussed in more detail below. Negatively charged amino acids are discussed above. If each monomer in the pore comprises a variant of SEQ ID NO: 7 in which only amino acids substitutions are made, a monomer in the pore may preferably differ from the rest of the monomers by comprising a negatively charged amino acid at one or more of positions 87, 89, 90, 91, 92, 101, 102 and 104 or positions 87, 89, 90, 91, 92, 101, 102 and 104.

[0089] A monomer in the pore may preferably differ from the rest of the monomers by comprising a negatively charged amino acid at one or more of the positions which correspond to positions 90, 91, 93 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 5 or 6. A negatively charged amino acid may be present at any number and combination of positions which correspond to positions 90, 91, 93 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 5 or 6, namely (i) 90; (ii) 91; (iii) 93; (iv) 105; (v) 90 and 91; (vi) 90 and 93; (vii) 90 and 105; (viii) 91 and 93; (ix) 91 and 105; (x) 93 and 105; (xi) 90, 91 and 93; (xii) 90, 91 and 105; (xiii) 90, 93 and 105; (xiv) 91, 93 and 105; or (xv) 90, 91, 93 and 105. A monomer in the pore may preferably differ from the rest of the monomers by comprising a negatively charged amino acid at the position(s) which correspond(s) to position(s) (x) 90; (xi) 91; (xii) 93; (xiii) 90 and 91; (xiv) 90 and 93; (xv) 91 and 93; (xvi) 105; (xvii) 90 and 105; or (xviii) 90, 91 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 5 or 6. Negatively charged amino acids are discussed above. If each monomer in the pore comprises a variant of SEQ ID NO: 5 or 6 in which only amino acids substitutions are made, a monomer in the pore may preferably differ from the rest of the monomers by comprising a negatively charged amino acid at one or more of positions 90, 91, 93 and 105. The one or more monomers may differ by comprising a negatively charged amino acid at any combination of positions 90, 91, 93 and 105 discussed in (i) to (xv) or (x) to (xviii) above.

[0090] A monomer in the pore may preferably differ from the rest of the monomers by comprising a negatively charged amino acid at one or more of the positions which correspond to positions 89, 90, 92 and 104 of SEQ ID NO: 7. A negatively charged amino acid may be present at any number and combination of positions which correspond to positions 89, 90, 92 and 104 of SEQ ID NO: 7, namely (i) 89; (ii) 90; (iii) 92; (iv) 104; (v) 89 and 90; (vi) 89 and 92; (vii) 89 and 104; (viii) 90 and 92; (ix) 90 and 104; (x) 92 and 104; (xi) 89, 90 and 92; (xii) 89, 90 and 104; (xiii) 89, 92 and 104; (xiv) 90, 92 and 104; or (xv) 89, 90, 92 and 104. A monomer in the pore may preferably differ from the rest of the monomers by comprising a negatively charged amino acid at the position(s) which correspond(s) to position(s) (x) 89; (xi) 90; (xii) 92; (xiii) 89 and 90; (xiv) 89 and 92; (xv) 90 and 92; (xvi) 104; (xvii) 89 and 104; or (xviii) 89, 90 and 104 of SEQ ID NO: 7. Negatively charged amino acids are discussed above. If each monomer in the pore comprises a variant of SEQ ID NO: 7 in which only amino acids substitutions are made, a monomer in the pore may preferably differ from the rest of the monomers by comprising a negatively charged amino acid at one or more of positions 89, 90, 92 and 104. A monomer may differ by comprising a negatively charged amino acid at any combination of positions 89, 90, 92 and 104 discussed in (i) to (xv) or (x) to (xviii) above.

[0091] A monomer may differ from the rest of the monomers by comprising one or more negatively charged amino acids, such as 1, 2, 3 or 4 negatively charged amino acids, in its narrowing forming region. For instance, a monomer may preferably differ from the rest of the monomers by comprising a negatively charged amino acid at one or more of the positions which correspond to positions 90, 91, 93 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 5 or 6. The monomer may comprise a negatively charged amino acid at any number and combination of the positions which correspond to positions 90, 91, 93 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 5 or 6 discussed above in (i) to (xv) or (x) to (xviii).

[0092] Preferably, a monomer may differ from the rest of the monomers by comprising one or more negatively charged amino acids, such as 1, 2, 3 or 4 negatively charged amino acids, in its narrowing forming region. For instance, a monomer may preferably differ from the rest of the monomers by comprising a negatively charged amino acid at one or more of the positions which correspond to positions 89, 90, 92 and 104 of SEQ ID NO: 7. The monomer may comprise a negatively charged amino acid at any number and combination of the positions which correspond to positions 89, 90, 92 and 104 of SEQ ID NO: 7 discussed above in (i) to (xv) or (x) to (xviii).

[0093] In any of the embodiments discussed above, the rest of the monomers preferably comprise an amino acid which is not charged at the position(s) which correspond(s) to position(s) 90 and/or 91 of SEQ ID NO: 5 or 6. The rest of the monomers preferably comprise an amino acid which is not charged at the position(s) which correspond(s) to position(s) 90, 91 and/or 93 of SEQ ID NO: 5 or 6. If each monomer in the pore comprises a variant of SEQ ID NO: 2 in which only amino acids substitutions are made, the rest of the monomers preferably comprise an amino acid which is not charged at position(s) 90 and/or 91 or positions 90, 91 and/or 93. Any of the amino acids which are not charged and which are discussed above may be present. The amino acid is preferably asparagine (N).

[0094] In any of the embodiments discussed above, the rest of the monomers preferably comprise an amino acid which is not charged at the position(s) which correspond(s) to position(s) 89 and/or 90 of SEQ ID NO: 7. The rest of the monomers preferably comprise an amino acid which is not charged at the position(s) which correspond(s) to position(s) 89, 90 and/or 92 of SEQ ID NO: 7. If each monomer in the pore comprises a variant of SEQ ID NO: 7 in which only amino acids substitutions are made, the rest of the monomers preferably comprise an amino acid which is not charged at position(s) 89 and/or 90 or positions 89, 90 and/or 92. Any of the amino acids which are not charged and which are discussed above may be present. The amino acid is preferably asparagine (N).

[0095] The pore preferably comprises eight monomers where each monomer is independently selected from the sequences shown in SEQ ID NO: 2, 5, 6, 7 and variants thereof as discussed above. The pore may comprise any combination of monomers from MspA, MspB, MspC and MspD and variants thereof.

[0096] A variant of SEQ ID NO: 2, 5, 6 or 7 is a polypeptide that has an amino acid sequence which varies from that of SEQ ID NO: 2, 5, 6 or 7 and which retains its ability to form a pore. The ability of a variant to form a pore can be assayed using any method known in the art. For instance, the variant may be inserted into an amphiphilic layer along with other appropriate subunits and its ability to oligomerise to form a pore may be determined. Methods are known in the art for inserting subunits into membranes, such as amphiphilic layers. For example, subunits may be suspended in a purified form in a solution containing a triblock copolymer membrane such that it diffuses to the membrane and is inserted by binding to the membrane and assembling into a functional state. A variant may be modified in various ways.

[0097] A pore of the invention may comprise any number of monomers each comprising a variant of SEQ ID NO: 2, such as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 monomers each comprising a variant of SEQ ID NO: 2. In a preferred embodiment, all of the monomers in the pore comprise a variant of SEQ ID NO: 2.

[0098] The or each variant of SEQ ID NO: 2 preferably comprises a mutation or substitution at one or more of the positions which correspond to positions G75, G77, L88, D118, Q126, D134 and E139 of SEQ ID NO: 2. If the or each monomer in the pore comprises a variant of SEQ ID NO: 2 in which only amino acids substitutions are made, the or each variant preferably comprises a mutation or substitution at one or more of positions G75, G77, L88, D118, Q126, D134 and E139. The or each variant more preferably comprises one or more of G75S, G77S, L88N, D118R, Q126R, D134R and E139K. The purpose of these mutations is discussed in more detail below.

Rigidity



[0099] The or each variant of SEQ ID NO: 2 preferably comprises proline (P) at the position which corresponds to position 108 in SEQ ID NO: 2. If the or each monomer in the pore comprises a variant of SEQ ID NO: 2 in which only amino acids substitutions are made, the or each variant preferably comprises P at position 108.

Barrel deletions



[0100] In the or each variant of SEQ ID NO: 2, (a) 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 of the amino acids which correspond to positions 72 to 82 of SEQ ID NO: 2 have preferably been deleted and (b) 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 of the amino acids which correspond to positions 111 to 121 of SEQ ID NO: 2 have preferably been deleted. In other words, 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 amino acids are preferably deleted from the downward strand (positions 72 to 82) and the upward strand (positions 111 to 121) of the barrel region of SEQ ID NO: 2 when forming the variant. Deletion of amino acids from positions 72 to 82 and 11 to 121 alters the numbering of the subsequent amino acids in the variant as discussed above.

[0101] The number of amino acids deleted from positions 72 to 82 may be different from the number of amino acids deleted from positions 111 to 121. The number of amino acids deleted from positions 72 to 82 is preferably the same as the number of amino acids deleted from positions 111 to 121.

[0102] Any combination of amino acids from positions 72 to 82 and amino acids from positions 111 to 121 may be deleted. The majority of the amino acids in the downward and upwards strands of the barrel in SEQ ID NO: 2 alternate between hydrophobic and hydrophilic. The hydrophobic amino acids are selected from tryptophan (W), leucine (L), valine (V), isoleucine (I), phenylalanine (F) and tyrosine (Y). The hydrophilic amino acids are selected from serine (S), glycine (G), asparagine (N), proline (P) and aspartic acid (D). The alternation between hydrophobic and hydrophilic amino acids results in the beta-sheet which forms part of the barrel of the pore.

[0103] The amino acids from positions 72 to 82 remaining after deletion (i.e. after 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 amino acids have been deleted from positions 72 to 82) preferably comprise 3, 5, 7 or 9 consecutive amino acids which alternate between hydrophobic and hydrophilic.

[0104] The amino acids from positions 111 to 121 remaining after deletion (i.e. after 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 amino acids have been deleted from positions 111 to 121) preferably comprise 3, 5, 7 or 9 consecutive amino acids which alternate between hydrophobic and hydrophilic.

[0105] The amino acids deleted from positions 72 to 82 may correspond to the amino acids deleted from positions 111 to 121 as shown in Table 1 below. For instance, if L74 and G75 are deleted from positions 72 to 82, D118 and L119 may be deleted from positions 111 to 121.
Table 1 - Corresponding amino acids in the barrel of SEQ ID NO: 2
Position in (a)Corresponding position in (b)
W72 N121
S73 G120
L74 L119
G75 D118
V76 A117
G77 S116
178 1115
N79 S114
F80 V113
S81 G112
Y82 P111


[0106] One or more positions of the amino acids that have been deleted from positions 72 to 82 may not correspond to the one or more positions of the amino acids that have been deleted from positions 111 to 121 as shown in Table 1. For instance, if L74 and G75 are deleted from positions 72 to 82, A117 and D118 may be deleted from positions 111 to 121.

[0107] The positions of (all of) the amino acids that have been deleted from positions 72 to 82 may not correspond to the positions of (all of) the amino acids that have been deleted from positions 111 to 121 as shown in Table 1. For instance, if L74 and G75 are deleted from positions 72 to 82, I115 and S116 may be deleted from positions 111 to 121.

[0108] The amino acids deleted from positions 72 to 82 are preferably consecutive. The amino acids deleted from positions 111 to 121 are preferably consecutive. The amino acids deleted from positions 72 to 82 and the amino acids deleted from positions 111 to 121 are preferably consecutive.

[0109] The or each variant of the sequence shown in SEQ ID NO: 2 is preferably one in which (i) L74, G75, D118 and L119 have been deleted, (ii) G75, V76, A117 and D118 have been deleted, (iii) V76, G77, S116 and A117 have been deleted, (iv) G77, 178, I115 and S116 have been deleted, (v) 178, N79, S114 and I115 have been deleted, (vi) N79, F80, V113 and S114 have been deleted or (vii) F80, S81, G112 and V113 have been deleted. The or each variant of the sequence shown in SEQ ID NO: 2 is preferably one in which L74, G75, V76, G77, S116, A117, D118 and L119 have been deleted. The or each variant of the sequence shown in SEQ ID NO: 2 is preferably one in which L74, G75, N79, F80, V113, S114, D118 and L119 have been deleted or L74, G75, F80, S81, G112, V113, D118 and L119 have been deleted.

[0110] The skilled person can identify other combinations of amino acids that may be deleted in accordance with the invention.

Positions 90 and 91



[0111] In SEQ ID NO: 2, amino acids 90 and 91 are both aspartic acid (D). A variant may comprise a negatively charged amino acid, such as aspartic acid (D) or glutamic acid (E), at the position(s) which correspond(s) to position(s) 90 and/or 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2 if the monomer comprising the variant is contributing to the negative charge in the narrowing. If the variant comprises glutamic acid (E) or a non-natural negatively charged amino acid at the position(s) which correspond(s) to position(s) 90 and/or 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2, it or they may be introduced by substitution. If a monomer comprises a variant of SEQ ID NO: 2 in which only amino acids substitutions are made, the variant may comprise a negatively charged amino acid, such as aspartic acid (D) or glutamic acid (E), at the position (s) 90 and/or 91.

[0112] A variant may not comprise a negatively charged amino acid at the position(s) which corresponds to position(s) 90 and/or 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2 if the monomer comprising the variant is not contributing to the negative charge in the narrowing. A variant may comprise any of the amino acids which are not charged and which are discussed above at the position(s) which corresponds to position(s) 90 and/or 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2. If a monomer comprises a variant of SEQ ID NO: 2 in which only amino acids substitutions are made, the variant may not comprise a negatively charged amino acid at the position(s) which corresponds to position(s) 90 and/or 91. The variant preferably may comprise serine (S), glutamine (Q), leucine (L), methionine (M), isoleucine (I), alanine (A), valine (V), glycine (G), phenylalanine (F), tryptophan (W), tyrosine (Y), histidine (H), threonine (T), arginine (R), lysine (K), asparagine (N) or cysteine (C) at the position(s) which corresponds to position(s) 90 and/or 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2 or at position(s) 90 and/or 91. Any combinations of these amino acids at positions 90 and 91 are envisaged by the invention. The variant preferably comprises asparagine (N) at the position(s) which corresponds to position(s) 90 and/or 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2 or at position(s) 90 and/or 91. These amino acids are preferably inserted at position 90 and/or 91 by substitution.

Position 93



[0113] In wild-type MspA, amino acid 93 is aspartic acid (D). A variant may comprise a negatively charged amino acid, such as aspartic acid (D) or glutamic acid (E), at the position which corresponds to position 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2 if the monomer comprising the variant is contributing to the negative charge in the narrowing. If the variant comprises glutamic acid (E) or a non-natural negatively charged amino acid at the position which corresponds to position 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2, it may be introduced by substitution. If a monomer in the pore comprises a variant of SEQ ID NO: 2 in which only amino acids substitutions are made, the variant may comprise a negatively charged amino acid, such as aspartic acid (D) or glutamic acid (E), at the position 93.

[0114] A variant may not comprise a negatively charged amino acid at the position which corresponds to position 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2 if the monomer comprising the variant is not contributing to the negative charge in the narrowing. If a monomer in the pore comprises a variant of SEQ ID NO: 2 in which only amino acids substitutions are made, the variant may not comprise a negatively charged amino acid, such as aspartic acid (D) or glutamic acid (E), at the position 93. A variant may comprise any of the amino acids which are not charged and which are discussed above at the position which corresponds to position 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2 or at position 93. The variant preferably may comprise serine (S), glutamine (Q), leucine (L), methionine (M), isoleucine (I), alanine (A), valine (V), glycine (G), phenylalanine (F), tryptophan (W), tyrosine (Y), histidine (H), threonine (T), arginine (R), lysine (K), asparagine (N) or cysteine (C) at the position which corresponds to position 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2 or at position 93. The variant preferably comprises asparagine (N) at the position which corresponds to position 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2 or at position 93. These amino acids are preferably inserted at position 93 by substitution.

Cap forming region



[0115] In SEQ ID NO: 2, amino acids 1 to 72 and 122 to 184 form the cap of the pore. Of these amino acids, V9, Q12, D13, R14, T15, W40, I49, P53, G54, D56, E57, E59, T61, E63, Y66, Q67, I68, F70, P123, 1125, Q126, E127, V128, A129, T130, F131, S132, V133, D134, S136, G137, E139, V144, H148, T150, V151, T152, F163, R165, 1167, S169, T170 and S173 face inwards into the channel of the pore.

Barrel forming region



[0116] In SEQ ID NO: 2, amino acids 72 to 82 and 112 to 121 form the barrel of the pore. Of these amino acids, S73, G75, G77, N79, S81, G112, S114, S116, D118 and G120 face inwards into the channel of the pore. S73, G75, G77, N79, S81 face inwards in the downwards strand and G112, S114, S116, D118 and G120 face inwards in the upwards strand.

Decreased net negative charge



[0117] The or each variant preferably comprises one or more modifications which decrease the net negative charge of the inward facing amino acids in the cap forming region and/or the barrel forming region of the monomer. The variant preferably comprises two or more modifications which decrease the net negative charge of the inward facing amino acids in the cap forming region and/or the barrel forming region of the monomer. Any such modifications to the barrel forming region are in addition to the deletions of the invention discussed above.

[0118] The variant may comprise any number of modifications, such as 1 or more, 2 or more, 3 or more, 4 or more, 5 or more, 6 or more, 7 or more, 8 or more, 9 or more, 10 or more, 15 or more, 20 or more, 30 or more, or 40 or more modifications.

[0119] The net negative charge may be decreased by any means known in the art. The net negative charge is decreased in a manner that does not interfere with the ability of the mutant monomer to form a pore. This can be measured as discussed above.

[0120] The net negative charge of the inward facing amino acids in the cap forming region and/or the barrel forming region may be decreased. This means that the inward facing amino acids in the cap forming region and/or the barrel forming region comprise fewer negatively charged amino acids than in SEQ ID NO: 2 and/or comprises more positively charged amino acids than in SEQ ID NO: 2. The one or more modifications may lead to a net positive charge in the inward facing amino acids in the cap forming region and/or the barrel forming region.

[0121] The net charge can be measured using methods known in the art. For instance, the net charge of the inward facing amino acids in the cap forming region and/or the barrel forming region may be calculated using routine methods.

[0122] The one or more modifications are preferably one or more deletions of negatively charged amino acids. Removal of one or more negatively charged amino acids reduces the net negative charge of the inward facing amino acids in the cap forming region and/or barrel forming region. A negatively charged amino acid is an amino acid with a net negative charge. Negatively charged amino acids include, but are not limited to, aspartic acid (D) and glutamic acid (E). Methods for deleting amino acids from proteins, such as MspA monomers, are well known in the art.

[0123] The one or more modifications are preferably one or more substitutions of negatively charged amino acids with one or more positively charged, uncharged, non-polar and/or aromatic amino acids. A positively charged amino acid is an amino acid with a net positive charge. The positively charged amino acid(s) can be naturally-occurring or non-naturally-occurring. The positively charged amino acid(s) may be synthetic or modified. For instance, modified amino acids with a net positive charge may be specifically designed for use in the invention. A number of different types of modification to amino acids are well known in the art.

[0124] Preferred naturally-occurring positively charged amino acids include, but are not limited to, histidine (H), lysine (K) and arginine (R). Any number and combination of H, K and/or R may be substituted for the inward facing amino acids in the cap forming region and/or barrel forming region.

[0125] The uncharged amino acids, non-polar amino acids and/or aromatic amino acids can be naturally occurring or non-naturally-occurring. They may be synthetic or modified. Uncharged amino acids have no net charge. Suitable uncharged amino acids include, but are not limited to, cysteine (C), serine (S), threonine (T), methionine (M), asparagines (N) and glutamine (Q). Non-polar amino acids have non-polar side chains. Suitable non-polar amino acids include, but are not limited to, glycine (G), alanine (A), proline (P), isoleucine (I), leucine (L) and valine (V). Aromatic amino acids have an aromatic side chain. Suitable aromatic amino acids include, but are not limited to, histidine (H), phenylalanine (F), tryptophan (W) and tyrosine (Y). Any number and combination of these amino acids may be substituted into the inward facing amino acids in the cap forming region and/or the barrel forming region.

[0126] The one or more negatively charged amino acids are preferably substituted with alanine (A), valine (V), asparagine (N) or glycine (G). Preferred substitutions include, but are not limited to, substitution of D with A, substitution of D with V, substitution of D with N and substitution of D with G.

[0127] The one or more modifications are preferably one or more introductions of positively charged amino acids. The introduction of positive charge decreases the net negative charge. The one or more positively charged amino acids may be introduced by addition or substitution. Any amino acid may be substituted with a positively charged amino acid. One or more uncharged amino acids, non-polar amino acids and/or aromatic amino acids may be substituted with one or more positively charged amino acids. Any number of positively charged amino acids may be introduced.

[0128] Wild-type MspA comprises a polar glutamine (Q) at position 126. The one or more modifications preferably reduce the net negative charge at the position in a variant which corresponds to position 126 in SEQ ID NO: 2. If the monomer comprises a variant of SEQ ID NO: 2 in which only amino acids substitutions are made, one or more modifications preferably reduce the net negative charge at the position in a variant which corresponds to position 126. The one or more modifications preferably increase the net positive charge at the position which corresponds to position 126 or at position 126. This can be achieved by replacing the polar amino acid at position 126 or an adjacent or a nearby inward facing amino acid with a positively charged amino acid. The or each variant preferably comprises a positively charged amino acid at the position which corresponds to position 126 or at position 126. The or each variant preferably comprises a positively charged amino acid at one or more of the positions which correspond to positions 123, 125, 127 and 128 in SEQ ID NO: 2 or at one or more of positions 123, 125, 127 and 128. The or each variant may comprise any number and combination of positively charged amino acids at the positions which correspond to positions 123, 125, 127 and 128 or at one or more of positions 123, 125, 127 and 128. The positively charged amino acid(s) may be introduced by addition or substitution.

[0129] The one or more modifications are preferably one or more introductions of positively charged amino acids which neutralise one or more negatively charged amino acids. The neutralisation of negative charge decreases the net negative charge. The one or more positively charged amino acids may be introduced by addition or substitution. Any amino acid may be substituted with a positively charged amino acid. One or more uncharged amino acids, non-polar amino acids and/or aromatic amino acids may be substituted with one or more positively charged amino acids. Any number of positively charged amino acids may be introduced. The number is typically the same as the number of negatively charged amino acids being neutralised.

[0130] The one or more positively charged amino acids may be introduced at any position in the cap forming region and/or the barrel forming region as long as they neutralise the negative charge of the one or more inward facing negatively charged amino acids. To effectively neutralise the negative charge in the cap forming region, there is typically 5 or fewer amino acids in the variant between each positively charged amino acid that is introduced and the negatively charged amino acid it is neutralising. There are preferably 4 or fewer, 3 or fewer or 2 or fewer amino acids in the cap forming region of the variant between each positively charged amino acid that is introduced and the negatively charged amino acid it is neutralising. There is more preferably two amino acids in the cap forming region of the variant between each positively charged amino acid that is introduced and the negatively charged amino acid it is neutralising. Each positively charged amino acid is most preferably introduced adjacent in the cap forming region of the variant to the negatively charged amino acid it is neutralising.

[0131] To effectively neutralise the negative charge in the barrel forming region, there is typically 5 or fewer inward facing amino acids between each positively charged amino acid that is introduced and the negatively charged amino acid it is neutralising. There is preferably 4 or fewer, 3 or fewer or 2 or fewer inward facing amino acids in the barrel forming region of the variant between each positively charged amino acid that is introduced and the negatively charged amino acid it is neutralising. There is more preferably one inward facing amino acid in the barrel forming region of the variant between each positively charged amino acid that is introduced and the negatively charged amino acid it is neutralising. Each positively charged amino acid is most preferably introduced at the inward facing position adjacent in the barrel forming region of the variant to the negatively charged amino acid it is neutralising.

[0132] SEQ ID NO: 2 comprises aspartic acid (D) at positions 118 and 134 and glutamic acid (E) at position 139. Amino acid 118 in each monomer is present within the barrel of the pore. The or each variant preferably comprises a positively charged amino acid at one or more of the positions which correspond to positions 114, 116, 120, 123, 70, 73, 75, 77 and 79 of SEQ ID NO: 2. If the or each monomer in the pore comprises a variant of SEQ ID NO: 2 in which only amino acids substitutions are made, the variant preferably comprises a positively charged amino acid at one or more of positions 114, 116, 120, 123, 70, 73, 75, 77 and 79. Positive charges at one or more of these positions neutralise the negative charge at position 118. Positively charged amino acids may be present at any number and combination of the positions which correspond to positions 114, 116, 120, 123, 70, 73, 75, 77 and 79 or at positions 114, 116, 120, 123, 70, 73, 75, 77 and 79. The amino acids may be introduced by addition or substitution.

[0133] Amino acids 134 and 139 in each monomer are part of the cap. The or each variant preferably comprises a positively charged amino acid at one or more of positions which correspond to positions 129, 132, 136, 137, 59, 61 and 63 in SEQ ID NO: 2. If the or each monomer in the pore comprises a variant of SEQ ID NO: 2 in which only amino acids substitutions are made, the or each variant preferably comprises a positively charged amino acid at one or more of positions 129, 132, 136, 137, 59, 61 and 63. Positive charges at one or more of these positions neutralise the negative charge at position 134. Positively charged amino acids may be present at any number and combination of the positions which correspond to positions 129, 132, 136, 137, 59, 61 and 63 in SEQ ID NO: 2 or at positions 129, 132, 136, 137, 59, 61 and 63. The amino acids may be introduced by addition or substitution.

[0134] The variant preferably comprises a positively charged amino acid at one or more of positions which correspond to positions 137, 138, 141, 143, 45, 47, 49 and 51 of SEQ ID NO: 2 or at positions 137, 138, 141, 143, 45, 47, 49 and 51. Positive charges at one or more of these positions neutralise the negative charge at position 139. Positively charged amino acids may be present at any number and combination of the positions which correspond to positions 137, 138, 141, 143, 45, 47, 49 and 51 of SEQ ID NO: 2 or at positions 137, 138, 141, 143, 45, 47, 49 and 51. The amino acids may be introduced by addition or substitution.

Positions 118, 126, 134 and 139



[0135] The one or more modifications preferably reduce the net negative charge at one or more of the positions which correspond to positions 118, 126, 134 and 139 in SEQ ID NO: 2 or at positions 118, 126, 134 and 139. The one or more modifications preferably reduce the net negative charge at the position(s) which corresponds to position(s) or at position(s) 118; 126; 134; 139; 118 and 126; 118 and 134; 118 and 139; 126 and 134; 126 and 139; 134 and 139; 118, 126 and 134; 118, 126 and 139; 118, 134 and 139; 126, 134 and 139; or 118, 126, 134 and 139 in SEQ ID NO: 2.

[0136] The variant preferably does not comprise aspartic acid (D) or glutamic acid (E) at one or more of the positions which correspond to positions 118, 126, 134 and 139 of SEQ ID NO: 2 or at positions 118, 126, 134 and 139. The variant preferably does not comprise aspartic acid (D) or glutamic acid (E) at any of the combination of positions which correspond to positions 118, 126, 134 and 139 or at positions 118, 126, 134 and 139 disclosed above. The variant more preferably comprises arginine (R), glycine (G) or asparagine (N) at one or more of the positions which correspond to positions 118, 126, 134 and 139 of SEQ ID NO: 2 or at positions 118, 126, 134 and 139, such as any of the combinations of positions 118, 126, 134 and 139 disclosed above. The variant most preferably comprises D118R, Q126R, D134R and E139K.

[0137] Methods for introducing or substituting naturally-occurring amino acids are well known in the art. For instance, methionine (M) may be substituted with arginine (R) by replacing the codon for methionine (ATG) with a codon for arginine (CGT) at the relevant position in a polynucleotide encoding the mutant monomer. The polynucleotide can then be expressed as discussed below.

[0138] Methods for introducing or substituting non-naturally-occurring amino acids are also well known in the art. For instance, non-naturally-occurring amino acids may be introduced by including synthetic aminoacyl-tRNAs in the IVTT system used to express the mutant monomer. Alternatively, they may be introduced by expressing the mutant monomer in E. coli that are auxotrophic for specific amino acids in the presence of synthetic (i.e. non-naturally-occurring) analogues of those specific amino acids. They may also be produced by naked ligation if the mutant monomer is produced using partial peptide synthesis.

[0139] The one or more modifications are preferably one or more chemical modifications of one or more negatively charged amino acids which neutralise their negative charge. For instance, the one or more negatively charged amino acids may be reacted with a carbodiimide.

Other modifications



[0140] The variant preferably comprises one or more of:

(e) serine (S) at the position which corresponds to position 75 of SEQ ID NO: 2 or at position 75;

(f) serine (S) at the position which corresponds to position 77 of SEQ ID NO: 2 or at position 77; and

(g) asparagine (N) or lysine (K) at the position which corresponds to position 88 in SEQ ID NO: 2 or at position 88.



[0141] The variant may comprise any number and combination of (e) to (g), including (e), (f), (g); (e) and (f), (f) and (g), (e) and (g); and (e), (f) and (g). The variant preferably comprises G75S, G77S and L88N.

[0142] The variant most preferably comprises (a) D90N, D91N, D93N, D118R, D134R and E139K, (b) L88N, D90N, D91N, D93N, D118R, D134R and E139K, (c) G75S, G77S, L88N, D90N, D91N, D93N, D118R, Q126R, D134R and E139K or (d) G75S, G77S, L88N, D90N, D91N, D118R, Q126R, D134R and E139K. Where the positions in (a) to (d) correspond to those in SEQ ID NO: 2 or are the positions in the variant.

[0143] The variant preferably further comprises one or more of:

(i) phenylalanine (F) at the position which corresponds to position 89 of SEQ ID NO: 2 or at position 89;

(j) glutamic acid (E) at the position which corresponds to position 95 of SEQ ID NO: 2 or at position 95 and lysine (K) at the position which corresponds to position 98 of SEQ ID NO: 2 or at position 98;

(1) aspartic acid (D) at the position which corresponds to position 96 of SEQ ID NO: 2 or at position 96;

(m) glycine (G) at the position which corresponds to position 102 of SEQ ID NO: 2 or at position 102;

(n) alanine (A) at the position which corresponds to position 103 of SEQ ID NO: 2 or at position 103; and

(o) alanine (A), serine (S) or proline (P) at the position which corresponds to position 108 or at position 108.



[0144] The variant may comprise any number and combination of (i) to (o).

Improved movement



[0145] The or each variant preferably comprises one or more modifications in a part of the variant which interacts with a polynucleotide binding protein. This improves the movement of a target polynucleotide with respect to a pore comprising the variant when the movement is controlled by a polynucleotide binding protein. These modifications and their advantages are discussed in International Application No. PCT/GB2015/051291 (published as WO/2015/166276). The one or more modifications preferably provide more consistent movement of the target polynucleotide with respect to, such as through, a transmembrane pore comprising the variant. The one or more modifications preferably reduce the noise associated with the movement of the target polynucleotide with respect to, such as through, a transmembrane pore comprising the variant. If the target polynucleotide is double stranded, the one or more modifications preferably reduce the noise associated with movement of the complement strand relative to the template strand and/or provide more consistent movement of the complement strand relative to the template strand. This is advantageous for strand sequencing of double stranded target polynucleotides. The two stands of the double stranded polynucleotide are preferably linked by a bridging moiety, such as a hairpin loop or hairpin loop adaptor. This is discussed in more detail below.

[0146] Any number of modifications can be made, such as 2 or more, 3 or more, 5 or more, 10 or more, 15 or more, 20 or more, 25 or more, 30 or more, 50 or more or 100 or more modifications.

[0147] The part of the variant which interacts with the polynucleotide binding protein typically comprises the amino acids which correspond to positions 12, 14, 48, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 169 and 170 of SEQ ID NO: 2 or at positions 12, 14, 48, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 169 and 170.

[0148] The part of the variant which interacts with the polynucleotide binding protein preferably comprises the amino acids
  1. (a) which correspond to positions 12, 14, 52, 54, 56, 57, 59, 134, 136, 138, 139 and 169 in SEQ ID NO: 2 or at positions 12, 14, 52, 54, 56, 57, 59, 134, 136, 138, 139 and 169;
  2. (b) 12, 14, 56, 57, 59, 134, 136, 139 and 169 in SEQ ID NO: 2 or at positions 12, 14, 56, 57, 59, 134, 136, 139 and 169;
  3. (c) 56, 57, 59, 134, 136, 139 and 169 in SEQ ID NO: 2 or at positions 56, 57, 59, 134, 136, 139 and 169; or
  4. (d) 56, 57, 59, 134 and 139 in SEQ ID NO: 2 or at positions 56, 57, 59, 134 and 139.


[0149] Any modifications may be made in accordance with the invention. The variant may comprise one or more modifications which (a) alter the charge, (b) alter the sterics, (c) alter the hydrogen bonding, (d) alter the π stacking or (e) alter the structure of the part of the variant which interacts with the polynucleotide binding protein. Any number and combination of these may be altered. For instance, the method may involve making one of more modification which {a}; {b}; {c}; {d}; {e}; {a,b}; {a,c}; {a,d}; {a,e}; {b,c}; {b,d}; {b,e}; {c,d}; {c,e}; {d,e}; {a,b,c}; {a,b,d}; {a,b,e}; {a,c,d}; {a,c,e}; {a,d,e}; {b,c,d}; {b,c,e}; {b,d,e}; {c,d,e}; {a,b,c,d}; {a,b,c,e}; {a,b,d,e}; {a,c,d,e}; {b,c,d,e}; or {a,b,c,d,e}.

[0150] When modifying the variant, the one or more modifications typically involve introducing or replacing one or more amino acids. The invention typically involves making one or more amino acid substitutions.

[0151] Modifications which alter the charge may involve increasing the net negative charge or decreasing the net negative charge. The method preferably comprises making one or more modifications which decrease the net negative charge of the part of the variant which interacts with the polynucleotide binding protein. Modifications which decrease net negative charge are discussed in more detail above. In a preferred embodiment, the variant does not comprise aspartic acid (D) or glutamic acid (E) at one or more of the positions which correspond to positions 56, 57, 59, 134 and 139 of SEQ ID NO: 2 or at positions 56, 57, 59, 134 and 139. The variant preferably comprises one or more of (a) D56N or D56R, (b) E57N or E57R, (c) E59N or E59R, (d) D134N or D134R and (e) E139N, E139R or E139K. The variant may comprise any number and combination of these modifications. For instance, one or more of the monomers may comprise {a}; {b}; {c}; {d}; {e}; {a,b}; {a,c}; {a,d}; {a,e}; {b,c}; {b,d}; {b,e}; {c,d}; {c,e}; {d,e}; {a,b,c}; {a,b,d}; {a,b,e}; {a,c,d}; {a,c,e}; {a,d,e}; {b,c,d}; {b,c,e}; {b,d,e}; {c,d,e}; {a,b,c,d}; {a,b,c,e}; {a,b,d,e}; {a,c,d,e}; {b,c,d,e}; or {a,b,c,d,e}.

[0152] Modifications which alter the sterics may involve increasing or decreasing the size of amino acid residues, for instance by substitution. For instance, sterics can be increased by the introduction of one or more bulky amino acids, such as phenylalanine (F), tryptophan (W), tyrosine (Y) and histidine (H).

[0153] Modifications which alter the hydrogen bonding may involve the introduction or replacement of one or more amino acids which can hydrogen bond.

[0154] Modifications which alter the π stacking may involve the introduction or replacement of amino acids that interact through delocalised electron π systems. For instance, π stacking can be increased by the introduction of one or more aromatic amino acids, such as phenylalanine (F), tryptophan (W), tyrosine (Y) and histidine (H).

Variants



[0155] In addition to the specific mutations discussed above, the variant may include other mutations. Over the entire length of the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO: 2, a variant will preferably be at least 50% homologous to that sequence based on amino acid similarity or identity. More preferably, the variant may be at least 55%, at least 60%, at least 65%, at least 70%, at least 75%, at least 80%, at least 85%, at least 90% and more preferably at least 95%, 97% or 99% homologous based on amino acid similarity or identity to the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO: 2 over the entire sequence. There may be at least 80%, for example at least 85%, 90% or 95%, amino acid similarity or identity over a stretch of 100 or more, for example 125, 150, 175 or 200 or more, contiguous amino acids ("hard homology").

[0156] Standard methods in the art may be used to determine homology. For example the UWGCG Package provides the BESTFIT program which can be used to calculate homology, for example used on its default settings (Devereux et al (1984) Nucleic Acids Research 12, p387-395). The PILEUP and BLAST algorithms can be used to calculate homology or line up sequences (such as identifying equivalent residues or corresponding sequences (typically on their default settings)), for example as described in Altschul S. F. (1993) J Mol Evol 36:290-300; Altschul, S.F et al (1990) J Mol Biol 215:403-10. Software for performing BLAST analyses is publicly available through the National Center for Biotechnology Information (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/).

[0157] Similarity can be measured using pairwise identity or by applying a scoring matrix such as BLOSUM62 and converting to an equivalent identity. Since they represent functional rather than evolved changes, deliberately mutated positions would be masked when determining homology. Similarity may be determined more sensitively by the application of position-specific scoring matrices using, for example, PSIBLAST on a comprehensive database of protein sequences. A different scoring matrix could be used that reflect amino acid chemico-physical properties rather than frequency of substitution over evolutionary time scales (e.g. charge).

[0158] SEQ ID NO: 2 is the mature form of the wild-type MspA monomer. The variant may comprise any of the mutations in the MspB, C or D monomers compared with MspA. The mature forms of MspB, C and D are shown in SEQ ID NOs: 5 to 7. In particular, the variant may comprise the following substitution present in MspB: A138P. The variant may comprise one or more of the following substitutions present in MspC: A96G, N102E and A138P. The variant may comprise one or more of the following mutations present in MspD: Deletion of G1, L2V, E5Q, L8V, D13G, W21A, D22E, K47T, I49H, I68V, D91G, A96Q, N102D, S103T, V104I, S136K and G141A. The variant may comprise combinations of one or more of the mutations and substitutions from Msp B, C and D.

[0159] Amino acid substitutions may be made to the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO: 2 in addition to those discussed above, for example up to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 20 or 30 substitutions. Conservative substitutions replace amino acids with other amino acids of similar chemical structure, similar chemical properties or similar side-chain volume. The amino acids introduced may have similar polarity, hydrophilicity, hydrophobicity, basicity, acidity, neutrality or charge to the amino acids they replace. Alternatively, the conservative substitution may introduce another amino acid that is aromatic or aliphatic in the place of a pre-existing aromatic or aliphatic amino acid. Conservative amino acid changes are well-known in the art and may be selected in accordance with the properties of the 20 main amino acids as defined in Table 2 below. Where amino acids have similar polarity, this can also be determined by reference to the hydropathy scale for amino acid side chains in Table 3.
Table 2 - Chemical properties of amino acids
Ala aliphatic, hydrophobic, neutral Met hydrophobic, neutral
Cys polar, hydrophobic, neutral Asn polar, hydrophilic, neutral
Asp polar, hydrophilic, charged (-) Pro hydrophobic, neutral
Glu polar, hydrophilic, charged (-) Gln polar, hydrophilic, neutral
Phe aromatic, hydrophobic, neutral Arg polar, hydrophilic, charged (+)
Gly aliphatic, neutral Ser polar, hydrophilic, neutral
His aromatic, polar, hydrophilic, charged (+) Thr polar, hydrophilic, neutral
Ile aliphatic, hydrophobic, neutral Val aliphatic, hydrophobic, neutral
Lys polar, hydrophilic, charged(+) Trp aromatic, hydrophobic, neutral
Leu aliphatic, hydrophobic, neutral Tyr aromatic, polar, hydrophobic
Table 3 - Hydropathy scale
Side ChainHydropathy
Ile 4.5
Val 4.2
Leu 3.8
Phe 2.8
Cys 2.5
Met 1.9
Ala 1.8
Gly -0.4
Thr -0.7
Ser -0.8
Trp -0.9
Tyr -1.3
Pro -1.6
His -3.2
Glu -3.5
Gln -3.5
Asp -3.5
Asn -3.5
Lys -3.9
Arg -4.5


[0160] One or more amino acid residues of the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO: 2 may additionally be deleted from the polypeptides described above. Up to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 20 or 30 residues may be deleted, or more.

[0161] Variants may include fragments of SEQ ID NO: 2. Such fragments retain pore forming activity. Fragments may be at least 50, 100, 150 or 200 amino acids in length. Such fragments may be used to produce the pores. A fragment preferably comprises the pore forming domain of SEQ ID NO: 2. Fragments must include one of residues which correspond to positions 88, 90, 91, 105, 118 and 134 of SEQ ID NO: 2. Typically, fragments include all of residues 88, 90, 91, 105, 118 and 134 of SEQ ID NO: 2.

[0162] One or more amino acids may be alternatively or additionally added to the polypeptides described above. An extension may be provided at the amino terminal or carboxy terminal of the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO: 2 or polypeptide variant or fragment thereof. The extension may be quite short, for example from 1 to 10 amino acids in length. Alternatively, the extension may be longer, for example up to 50 or 100 amino acids. A carrier protein may be fused to an amino acid sequence. Other fusion proteins are discussed in more detail below.

[0163] As discussed above, a variant is a polypeptide that has an amino acid sequence which varies from that of SEQ ID NO: 2 and which retains its ability to form a pore. A variant typically contains the regions of SEQ ID NO: 2 that are responsible for pore formation. The pore forming ability of Msp, which contains a β-barrel, is provided by β-sheets in each subunit. A variant of SEQ ID NO: 2 typically comprises the regions in SEQ ID NO: 2 that form β-sheets. One or more modifications can be made to the regions of SEQ ID NO: 2 that form β-sheets as long as the resulting variant retains its ability to form a pore. A variant of SEQ ID NO: 2 preferably includes one or more modifications, such as substitutions, additions or deletions, within its α-helices and/or loop regions.

[0164] The monomers may be modified to assist their identification or purification, for example by the addition of a streptavidin tag or by the addition of a signal sequence to promote their secretion from a cell where the monomer does not naturally contain such a sequence. Other suitable tags are discussed in more detail below. The monomers may be labelled with a revealing label. The revealing label may be any suitable label which allows the monomers to be detected. Suitable labels are described below.

[0165] The monomers may also be produced using D-amino acids. For instance, the monomers may comprise a mixture of L-amino acids and D-amino acids. This is conventional in the art for producing such proteins or peptides.

[0166] The monomers typically contain one or more specific modifications to facilitate nucleotide discrimination. The monomers may also contain other non-specific modifications as long as they do not interfere with pore formation. A number of non-specific side chain modifications are known in the art and may be made to the side chains of the monomer derived from Msp. Such modifications include, for example, reductive alkylation of amino acids by reaction with an aldehyde followed by reduction with NaBH4, amidination with methylacetimidate or acylation with acetic anhydride.

[0167] The monomers can be produced using standard methods known in the art. The monomer may be made synthetically or by recombinant means. For example, the monomers may be synthesized by in vitro translation and transcription (IVTT). Suitable methods for producing pores and monomers are discussed in International Application Nos. PCT/GB09/001690 (published as WO 2010/004273), PCT/GB09/001679 (published as WO 2010/004265) or PCT/GB10/000133 (published as WO 2010/086603). Methods for inserting pores into membranes are known in the art.

Chemical modification



[0168] In some embodiments, a monomer is chemically modified. The monomer can be chemically modified in any way and at any site. The monomer is preferably chemically modified by attachment of a molecule to one or more cysteines (cysteine linkage), attachment of a molecule to one or more lysines, attachment of a molecule to one or more non-natural amino acids, enzyme modification of an epitope or modification of a terminus. Suitable methods for carrying out such modifications are well-known in the art. The monomer may be chemically modified by the attachment of any molecule. For instance, the monomer may be chemically modified by attachment of a dye or a fluorophore.

[0169] In some embodiments, the monomer is chemically modified with a molecular adaptor that facilitates the interaction between a pore comprising the monomer and a target nucleotide or target polynucleotide sequence. The presence of the adaptor improves the host-guest chemistry of the pore and the nucleotide or polynucleotide sequence and thereby improves the sequencing ability of pores formed from the monomer. The principles of host-guest chemistry are well-known in the art. The adaptor has an effect on the physical or chemical properties of the pore that improves its interaction with the nucleotide or polynucleotide sequence. The adaptor may alter the charge of the barrel or channel of the pore or specifically interact with or bind to the nucleotide or polynucleotide sequence thereby facilitating its interaction with the pore.

[0170] The molecular adaptor is preferably a cyclic molecule, a cyclodextrin, a species that is capable of hybridization, a DNA binder or interchelator, a peptide or peptide analogue, a synthetic polymer, an aromatic planar molecule, a small positively-charged molecule or a small molecule capable of hydrogen-bonding.

[0171] The adaptor may be cyclic. A cyclic adaptor preferably has the same symmetry as the pore. The adaptor preferably has eight-fold symmetry since Msp typically has eight subunits around a central axis. This is discussed in more detail below.

[0172] The adaptor typically interacts with the nucleotide or polynucleotide sequence via host-guest chemistry. The adaptor is typically capable of interacting with the nucleotide or polynucleotide sequence. The adaptor comprises one or more chemical groups that are capable of interacting with the nucleotide or polynucleotide sequence. The one or more chemical groups preferably interact with the nucleotide or polynucleotide sequence by non-covalent interactions, such as hydrophobic interactions, hydrogen bonding, Van der Waal's forces, π-cation interactions and/or electrostatic forces. The one or more chemical groups that are capable of interacting with the nucleotide or polynucleotide sequence are preferably positively charged. The one or more chemical groups that are capable of interacting with the nucleotide or polynucleotide sequence more preferably comprise amino groups. The amino groups can be attached to primary, secondary or tertiary carbon atoms. The adaptor even more preferably comprises a ring of amino groups, such as a ring of 6, 7 or 8 amino groups. The adaptor most preferably comprises a ring of eight amino groups. A ring of protonated amino groups may interact with negatively charged phosphate groups in the nucleotide or polynucleotide sequence.

[0173] The correct positioning of the adaptor within the pore can be facilitated by host-guest chemistry between the adaptor and the pore comprising the monomer. The adaptor preferably comprises one or more chemical groups that are capable of interacting with one or more amino acids in the pore. The adaptor more preferably comprises one or more chemical groups that are capable of interacting with one or more amino acids in the pore via non-covalent interactions, such as hydrophobic interactions, hydrogen bonding, Van der Waal's forces, π-cation interactions and/or electrostatic forces. The chemical groups that are capable of interacting with one or more amino acids in the pore are typically hydroxyls or amines. The hydroxyl groups can be attached to primary, secondary or tertiary carbon atoms. The hydroxyl groups may form hydrogen bonds with uncharged amino acids in the pore. Any adaptor that facilitates the interaction between the pore and the nucleotide or polynucleotide sequence can be used.

[0174] Suitable adaptors include, but are not limited to, cyclodextrins, cyclic peptides and cucurbiturils. The adaptor is preferably a cyclodextrin or a derivative thereof. The cyclodextrin or derivative thereof may be any of those disclosed in Eliseev, A. V., and Schneider, H-J. (1994) J. Am. Chem. Soc. 116, 6081-6088. The adaptor is more preferably heptakis-6-amino-β-cyclodextrin (am7-βCD), 6-monodeoxy-6-monoamino-β-cyclodextrin (am1-βCD) or heptakis-(6-deoxy-6-guanidino)-cyclodextrin (gu7-βCD). The guanidino group in gu7-βCD has a much higher pKa than the primary amines in am7-βCD and so it is more positively charged. This gu7-βCD adaptor may be used to increase the dwell time of the nucleotide in the pore, to increase the accuracy of the residual current measured, as well as to increase the base detection rate at high temperatures or low data acquisition rates.

[0175] If a succinimidyl 3-(2-pyridyldithio)propionate (SPDP) crosslinker is used as discussed in more detail below, the adaptor is preferably heptakis(6-deoxy-6-amino)-6-N-mono(2-pyridyl)dithiopropanoyl-β-cyclodextrin (am6amPDP1-βCD).

[0176] More suitable adaptors include γ-cyclodextrins, which comprise 8 sugar units (and therefore have eight-fold symmetry). The γ-cyclodextrin may contain a linker molecule or may be modified to comprise all or more of the modified sugar units used in the β-cyclodextrin examples discussed above.

[0177] The molecular adaptor is preferably covalently attached to the monomer. The adaptor can be covalently attached to the pore using any method known in the art. The adaptor is typically attached via chemical linkage. If the molecular adaptor is attached via cysteine linkage, the one or more cysteines have preferably been introduced to the monomer by substitution. The monomer can of course comprise a cysteine residue at one or more of the positions which correspond to positions 88, 90, 91, 103 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2. The monomer may be chemically modified by attachment of a molecular adaptor to one or more, such as 2, 3, 4 or 5, of these cysteines. Alternatively, the monomer may be chemically modified by attachment of a molecule to one or more cysteines introduced at other positions. The molecular adaptor is preferably attached to one or more of the positions which correspond to positions 90, 91 and 103 of SEQ ID NO: 2.

[0178] The reactivity of cysteine residues may be enhanced by modification of the adjacent residues. For instance, the basic groups of flanking arginine, histidine or lysine residues will change the pKa of the cysteines thiol group to that of the more reactive S- group. The reactivity of cysteine residues may be protected by thiol protective groups such as dTNB. These may be reacted with one or more cysteine residues of the monomer before a linker is attached. The molecule may be attached directly to the monomer. The molecule is preferably attached to the monomer using a linker, such as a chemical crosslinker or a peptide linker.

[0179] Suitable chemical crosslinkers are well-known in the art. Preferred crosslinkers include 2,5-dioxopyrrolidin-1-yl 3-(pyridin-2-yldisulfanyl)propanoate, 2,5-dioxopyrrolidin-1-yl 4-(pyridin-2-yldisulfanyl)butanoate and 2,5-dioxopyrrolidin-1-yl 8-(pyridin-2-yldisulfanyl)octananoate. The most preferred crosslinker is succinimidyl 3-(2-pyridyldithio)propionate (SPDP). Typically, the molecule is covalently attached to the bifunctional crosslinker before the molecule/crosslinker complex is covalently attached to the monomer but it is also possible to covalently attach the bifunctional crosslinker to the monomer before the bifunctional crosslinker/monomer complex is attached to the molecule.

[0180] The linker is preferably resistant to dithiothreitol (DTT). Suitable linkers include, but are not limited to, iodoacetamide-based and Maleimide-based linkers.

[0181] In other embodiment, the monomer may be attached to a polynucleotide binding protein. This forms a modular sequencing system that may be used in the methods of sequencing of the invention. Polynucleotide binding proteins are discussed below.

[0182] The polynucleotide binding protein is preferably covalently attached to the monomer. The protein can be covalently attached to the monomer using any method known in the art. The monomer and protein may be chemically fused or genetically fused. The monomer and protein are genetically fused if the whole construct is expressed from a single polynucleotide sequence. Genetic fusion of a monomer to a polynucleotide binding protein is discussed in International Application No. PCT/GB09/001679 (published as WO 2010/004265).

[0183] If the polynucleotide binding protein is attached via cysteine linkage, the one or more cysteines have preferably been introduced to the monomer by substitution. The monomer may comprise cysteine residues at one or more of the positions which correspond to positions 10 to 15, 51 to 60, 136 to 139 and 168 to 172 of SEQ ID NO: 2 or at positions 10 to 15, 51 to 60, 136 to 139 and 168 to 172. These positions are present in loop regions which have low conservation amongst homologues indicating that mutations or insertions may be tolerated. They are therefore suitable for attaching a polynucleotide binding protein. The reactivity of cysteine residues may be enhanced by modification as described above.

[0184] The polynucleotide binding protein may be attached directly to the monomer or via one or more linkers. The molecule may be attached to the monomer using the hybridization linkers described in International Application No. PCT/GB10/000132 (published as WO 2010/086602). Alternatively, peptide linkers may be used. Peptide linkers are amino acid sequences. The length, flexibility and hydrophilicity of the peptide linker are typically designed such that it does not to disturb the functions of the monomer and molecule. Preferred flexible peptide linkers are stretches of 2 to 20, such as 4, 6, 8, 10 or 16, serine and/or glycine amino acids. More preferred flexible linkers include (SG)1, (SG)2, (SG)3, (SG)4, (SG)5 and (SG)8 wherein S is serine and G is glycine. Preferred rigid linkers are stretches of 2 to 30, such as 4, 6, 8, 16 or 24, proline amino acids. More preferred rigid linkers include (P)12 wherein P is proline.

[0185] The monomer may be chemically modified with a molecular adaptor and a polynucleotide binding protein.

[0186] The reactivity of cysteine residues may be enhanced by modification of the adjacent residues. For instance, the basic groups of flanking arginine, histidine or lysine residues will change the pKa of the cysteines thiol group to that of the more reactive S- group. The reactivity of cysteine residues may be protected by thiol protective groups such as dTNB. These may be reacted with one or more cysteine residues of the monomer before a linker is attached.

[0187] The molecule (with which the monomer is chemically modified) may be attached directly to the monomer or attached via a linker as disclosed in International Application Nos. PCT/GB09/001690 (published as WO 2010/004273), PCT/GB09/001679 (published as WO 2010/004265) or PCT/GB10/000133 (published as WO 2010/086603).

[0188] Any of the proteins described herein, such as the monomers and pores of the invention, may be modified to assist their identification or purification, for example by the addition of histidine residues (a his tag), aspartic acid residues (an asp tag), a streptavidin tag, a flag tag, a SUMO tag, a GST tag or a MBP tag, or by the addition of a signal sequence to promote their secretion from a cell where the polypeptide does not naturally contain such a sequence. An alternative to introducing a genetic tag is to chemically react a tag onto a native or engineered position on the protein. An example of this would be to react a gel-shift reagent to a cysteine engineered on the outside of the protein. This has been demonstrated as a method for separating hemolysin hetero-oligomers (Chem Biol. 1997 Jul;4(7):497-505).

[0189] Any of the proteins described herein, such as the monomers and pores of the invention, may be labelled with a revealing label. The revealing label may be any suitable label which allows the protein to be detected. Suitable labels include, but are not limited to, fluorescent molecules, radioisotopes, e.g. 125I, 35S, enzymes, antibodies, antigens, polynucleotides and ligands such as biotin.

[0190] Any of the proteins described herein, such as the monomers or pores of the invention, may be made synthetically or by recombinant means. For example, the protein may be synthesized by in vitro translation and transcription (IVTT). The amino acid sequence of the protein may be modified to include non-naturally occurring amino acids or to increase the stability of the protein. When a protein is produced by synthetic means, such amino acids may be introduced during production. The protein may also be altered following either synthetic or recombinant production.

[0191] Proteins may also be produced using D-amino acids. For instance, the protein may comprise a mixture of L-amino acids and D-amino acids. This is conventional in the art for producing such proteins or peptides.

[0192] The protein may also contain other non-specific modifications as long as they do not interfere with the function of the protein. A number of non-specific side chain modifications are known in the art and may be made to the side chains of the protein(s). Such modifications include, for example, reductive alkylation of amino acids by reaction with an aldehyde followed by reduction with NaBH4, amidination with methylacetimidate or acylation with acetic anhydride.

[0193] Any of the proteins described herein, including the monomers and pores of the invention, can be produced using standard methods known in the art. Polynucleotide sequences encoding a protein may be derived and replicated using standard methods in the art. Polynucleotide sequences encoding a protein may be expressed in a bacterial host cell using standard techniques in the art. The protein may be produced in a cell by in situ expression of the polypeptide from a recombinant expression vector. The expression vector optionally carries an inducible promoter to control the expression of the polypeptide. These methods are described in Sambrook, J. and Russell, D. (2001). Molecular Cloning: A Laboratory Manual, 3rd Edition. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Cold Spring Harbor, NY.

[0194] Proteins may be produced in large scale following purification by any protein liquid chromatography system from protein producing organisms or after recombinant expression. Typical protein liquid chromatography systems include FPLC, AKTA systems, the Bio-Cad system, the Bio-Rad BioLogic system and the Gilson HPLC system.

Constructs



[0195] The hetero-oligomeric pore of the invention may comprise a construct comprising two or more covalently attached monomers. The construct retains its ability to form a pore. This may be determined as discussed above. The construct may comprise at least 2, at least 3, at least 4, at least 5, at least 6, at least 7, at least 8, at least 9 or at least 10 monomers. The construct preferably comprises two monomers. The two or more monomers may be the same or different.

[0196] The monomers in the construct are preferably approximately the same length or are the same length. The barrels of the monomers in the construct are preferably approximately the same length or are the same length. Length may be measured in number of amino acids and/or units of length. The monomers in the construct preferably have the same number of amino acids deleted from positions 72 to 82 and/or positions 111 to 121.

[0197] The monomers in the construct are preferably genetically fused. Monomers are genetically fused if the whole construct is expressed from a single polynucleotide sequence. The coding sequences of the monomers may be combined in any way to form a single polynucleotide sequence encoding the construct.

[0198] The monomers may be genetically fused in any configuration. The monomers may be fused via their terminal amino acids. For instance, the amino terminus of the one monomer may be fused to the carboxy terminus of another monomer. The second and subsequent monomers in the construct (in the amino to carboxy direction) may comprise a methionine at their amino terminal ends (each of which is fused to the carboxy terminus of the previous monomer). For instance, if M is a monomer (without an amino terminal methionine) and mM is a monomer with an amino terminal methionine, the construct may comprise the sequence mM-mM, mM-mM-mM or mM-mM-mM-mM. The presences of these methionines typically results from the expression of the start codons (i.e. ATGs) at the 5' end of the polynucleotides encoding the monomers within the polynucleotide encoding entire construct. The second and subsequent monomers in the construct (in the amino to carboxy direction) may lack a methionine (e.g. mM-M, mM-M-M or mM-M-M-M).

[0199] The two or more monomers may be genetically fused directly together. The monomers are preferably genetically fused using a linker. The linker may be designed to constrain the mobility of the monomers. Preferred linkers are amino acid sequences (i.e. peptide linkers). Any of the peptide linkers discussed above may be used.

[0200] In another preferred embodiment, the monomers are chemically fused. Two monomers are chemically fused if the two parts are chemically attached, for instance via a chemical crosslinker. Any of the chemical crosslinkers discussed above may be used. The linker may be attached to one or more cysteine residues introduced into a mutant monomer . Alternatively, the linker may be attached to a terminus of one of the monomers in the construct.

[0201] If a construct contains different monomers, crosslinkage of monomers to themselves may be prevented by keeping the concentration of linker in a vast excess of the monomers. Alternatively, a "lock and key" arrangement may be used in which two linkers are used. Only one end of each linker may react together to form a longer linker and the other ends of the linker each react with a different monomers. Such linkers are described in International Application No. PCT/GB10/000132 (published as WO 2010/086602).

[0202] The pore contains sufficient constructs and, if necessary, monomers to form the pore. For instance, an octameric pore may comprise (a) four constructs each comprising two monomers, (b) two constructs each comprising four monomers or (b) one construct comprising two monomers and six monomers that do not form part of a construct. For instance, a nonameric pore may comprise (a) four constructs each comprising two monomers and one monomer that does not form part of a construct, (b) two constructs each comprising four monomers and a monomer that does not form part of a construct or (b) one construct comprising two monomers and seven monomers that do not form part of a construct. Other combinations of constructs and monomers can be envisaged by the skilled person.

[0203] A pore of the invention typically contains (a) one construct comprising two monomers and (b) 5, 6, 7 or 8 monomers. The construct may be any of those discussed above.

[0204] Another typical pore comprises more than one construct, such as two, three or four constructs. If necessary, such pores further comprise sufficient additional monomers or constructs to form the pore. The additional monomer(s) may be any of those discussed above.

[0205] A further pore of the invention comprises only constructs comprising 2 monomers, for example a pore may comprise 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 constructs comprising 2 monomers.

[0206] One or more of the constructs may be chemically-modified as discussed above.

Mutant Msp monomer



[0207] Also described herein is a mutant Msp monomer comprising a variant of the sequence shown in SEQ ID NO: 2, wherein the variant comprises a negatively charged amino acid at one or more of the positions which correspond to positions 88, 90, 91, 92, 93, 102, 103 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2. The monomer preferably does not comprise L88D/I105K or does not only comprise L88D/I105K.

[0208] Also dsecribed herein is a mutant Msp monomer comprising a variant of the sequence shown in SEQ ID NO: 2, wherein the variant comprises a negatively charged amino acid at one or more of the positions which correspond to positions 92, 102, 103 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2.

[0209] Any of the embodiments discussed above with reference to the pores of the invention equally apply to the monomers of the invention.

Polynucleotide characterisation



[0210] The invention provides a method of characterising a target polynucleotide. The method involves measuring one or more characteristics of the target polynucleotide. The target polynucleotide may also be called the template polynucleotide or the polynucleotide of interest.

Polynucleotide



[0211] A polynucleotide, such as a nucleic acid, is a macromolecule comprising two or more nucleotides. The polynucleotide or nucleic acid may comprise any combination of any nucleotides. The nucleotides can be naturally occurring or artificial. One or more nucleotides in the polynucleotide can be oxidized or methylated. One or more nucleotides in the polynucleotide may be damaged. For instance, the polynucleotide may comprise a pyrimidine dimer. Such dimers are typically associated with damage by ultraviolet light and are the primary cause of skin melanomas. One or more nucleotides in the polynucleotide may be modified, for instance with a label or a tag. Suitable labels are described below. The polynucleotide may comprise one or more spacers.

[0212] A nucleotide typically contains a nucleobase, a sugar and at least one phosphate group. The nucleobase and sugar form a nucleoside.

[0213] The nucleobase is typically heterocyclic. Nucleobases include, but are not limited to, purines and pyrimidines and more specifically adenine (A), guanine (G), thymine (T), uracil (U) and cytosine (C).

[0214] The sugar is typically a pentose sugar. Nucleotide sugars include, but are not limited to, ribose and deoxyribose. The sugar is preferably a deoxyribose.

[0215] The polynucleotide preferably comprises the following nucleosides: deoxyadenosine (dA), deoxyuridine (dU) and/or thymidine (dT), deoxyguanosine (dG) and deoxycytidine (dC).

[0216] The nucleotide is typically a ribonucleotide or deoxyribonucleotide. The nucleotide typically contains a monophosphate, diphosphate or triphosphate. The nucleotide may comprise more than three phosphates, such as 4 or 5 phosphates. Phosphates may be attached on the 5' or 3' side of a nucleotide. Nucleotides include, but are not limited to, adenosine monophosphate (AMP), guanosine monophosphate (GMP), thymidine monophosphate (TMP), uridine monophosphate (UMP), 5-methylcytidine monophosphate, 5-hydroxymethylcytidine monophosphate, cytidine monophosphate (CMP), cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), deoxyadenosine monophosphate (dAMP), deoxyguanosine monophosphate (dGMP), deoxythymidine monophosphate (dTMP), deoxyuridine monophosphate (dUMP), deoxycytidine monophosphate (dCMP) and deoxymethylcytidine monophosphate. The nucleotides are preferably selected from AMP, TMP, GMP, CMP, UMP, dAMP, dTMP, dGMP, dCMP and dUMP

[0217] A nucleotide may be abasic (i.e. lack a nucleobase). A nucleotide may also lack a nucleobase and a sugar (i.e. is a C3 spacer).

[0218] The nucleotides in the polynucleotide may be attached to each other in any manner. The nucleotides are typically attached by their sugar and phosphate groups as in nucleic acids. The nucleotides may be connected via their nucleobases as in pyrimidine dimers.

[0219] The polynucleotide may be single stranded or double stranded. At least a portion of the polynucleotide is preferably double stranded.

[0220] The polynucleotide can be a nucleic acid, such as deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or ribonucleic acid (RNA). The polynucleotide can comprise one strand of RNA hybridised to one strand of DNA. The polynucleotide may be any synthetic nucleic acid known in the art, such as peptide nucleic acid (PNA), glycerol nucleic acid (GNA), threose nucleic acid (TNA), locked nucleic acid (LNA) or other synthetic polymers with nucleotide side chains. The PNA backbone is composed of repeating N-(2-aminoethyl)-glycine units linked by peptide bonds. The GNA backbone is composed of repeating glycol units linked by phosphodiester bonds. The TNA backbone is composed of repeating threose sugars linked together by phosphodiester bonds. LNA is formed from ribonucleotides as discussed above having an extra bridge connecting the 2' oxygen and 4' carbon in the ribose moiety.

[0221] The polynucleotide is most preferably ribonucleic nucleic acid (RNA) or deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).

[0222] The polynucleotide can be any length. For example, the polynucleotide can be at least 10, at least 50, at least 100, at least 150, at least 200, at least 250, at least 300, at least 400 or at least 500 nucleotides or nucleotide pairs in length. The polynucleotide can be 1000 or more nucleotides or nucleotide pairs, 5000 or more nucleotides or nucleotide pairs in length or 100000 or more nucleotides or nucleotide pairs in length.

[0223] Any number of polynucleotides can be investigated. For instance, the method of the invention may concern characterising 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 20, 30, 50, 100 or more polynucleotides. If two or more polynucleotides are characterized, they may be different polynucleotides or two instances of the same polynucleotide.

[0224] The polynucleotide can be naturally occurring or artificial. For instance, the method may be used to verify the sequence of a manufactured oligonucleotide. The method is typically carried out in vitro.

Sample



[0225] Each analyte is typically present in any suitable sample. The invention is typically carried out on two or more samples that are known to contain or suspected to contain the analytes. Alternatively, the invention may be carried out on two or more samples to confirm the identity of two or more analytes whose presence in the samples is known or expected.

[0226] The sample may be a biological sample. The invention may be carried out in vitro using at least one sample obtained from or extracted from any organism or microorganism. The organism or microorganism is typically archaeal, prokaryotic or eukaryotic and typically belongs to one of the five kingdoms: plantae, animalia, fungi, monera and protista. The invention may be carried out in vitro on a sample obtained from or extracted from any virus. The sample is preferably a fluid sample. The sample typically comprises a body fluid of the patient. The sample may be urine, lymph, saliva, mucus or amniotic fluid but is preferably blood, plasma or serum. Typically, the sample is human in origin, but alternatively it may be from another mammal animal such as from commercially farmed animals such as horses, cattle, sheep, fish, chickens or pigs or may alternatively be pets such as cats or dogs. Alternatively, the first sample and/or second sample may be of plant origin, such as a sample obtained from a commercial crop, such as a cereal, legume, fruit or vegetable, for example wheat, barley, oats, canola, maize, soya, rice, rhubarb, bananas, apples, tomatoes, potatoes, grapes, tobacco, beans, lentils, sugar cane, cocoa, cotton.

[0227] The sample may be a non-biological sample. The non-biological sample is preferably a fluid sample. Examples of non-biological samples include surgical fluids, water such as drinking water, sea water or river water, and reagents for laboratory tests.

[0228] The sample is typically processed prior to being used in the invention, for example by centrifugation or by passage through a membrane that filters out unwanted molecules or cells, such as red blood cells. The sample may be measured immediately upon being taken. The sample may also be typically stored prior to assay, preferably below -70°C.

Characterisation



[0229] The method may involve measuring two, three, four or five or more characteristics of the polynucleotide. The one or more characteristics are preferably selected from (i) the length of the polynucleotide, (ii) the identity of the polynucleotide, (iii) the sequence of the polynucleotide, (iv) the secondary structure of the polynucleotide and (v) whether or not the polynucleotide is modified. Any combination of (i) to (v) may be measured in accordance with the invention, such as {i}, {ii}, {iii}, {iv}, {v}, {i,ii}, {i,iii}, {i,iv}, {i,v}, {ii,iii}, {ii,iv}, {ii,v}, {iii,iv}, {iii,v}, {iv,v}, {i,ii,iii}, {i,ii,iv}, {i,ii,v}, {i,iii,iv}, {i,iii,v}, {i,iv,v}, {ii,iii,iv}, {ii,iii,v}, {ii,iv,v}, {iii,iv,v}, {i,ii,iii,iv}, {i,ii,iii,v}, {i,ii,iv,v}, {i,iii,iv,v}, {ii,iii,iv,v} or {i,ii,iii,iv,v}. Different combinations of (i) to (v) may be measured for the first polynucleotide compared with the second polynucleotide, including any of those combinations listed above.

[0230] For (i), the length of the polynucleotide may be measured for example by determining the number of interactions between the polynucleotide and the pore or the duration of interaction between the polynucleotide and the pore.

[0231] For (ii), the identity of the polynucleotide may be measured in a number of ways. The identity of the polynucleotide may be measured in conjunction with measurement of the sequence of the polynucleotide or without measurement of the sequence of the polynucleotide. The former is straightforward; the polynucleotide is sequenced and thereby identified. The latter may be done in several ways. For instance, the presence of a particular motif in the polynucleotide may be measured (without measuring the remaining sequence of the polynucleotide). Alternatively, the measurement of a particular electrical and/or optical signal in the method may identify the polynucleotide as coming from a particular source.

[0232] For (iii), the sequence of the polynucleotide can be determined as described previously. Suitable sequencing methods, particularly those using electrical measurements, are described in Stoddart D et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci, 12;106(19):7702-7, Lieberman KR et al, J Am Chem Soc. 2010;132(50):17961-72, and International Application WO 2000/28312.

[0233] For (iv), the secondary structure may be measured in a variety of ways. For instance, if the method involves an electrical measurement, the secondary structure may be measured using a change in dwell time or a change in current flowing through the pore. This allows regions of single-stranded and double-stranded polynucleotide to be distinguished.

[0234] For (v), the presence or absence of any modification may be measured. The method preferably comprises determining whether or not the polynucleotide is modified by methylation, by oxidation, by damage, with one or more proteins or with one or more labels, tags or spacers. Specific modifications will result in specific interactions with the pore which can be measured using the methods described below. For instance, methylcyotsine may be distinguished from cytosine on the basis of the current flowing through the pore during its interaction with each nucleotide.

[0235] The target polynucleotide is contacted with a hetero-oligomeric pore of the invention. The pore is typically present in a membrane. Suitable membranes are discussed below. The method may be carried out using any apparatus that is suitable for investigating a membrane/pore system in which a pore is present in a membrane. The method may be carried out using any apparatus that is suitable for transmembrane pore sensing. For example, the apparatus comprises a chamber comprising an aqueous solution and a barrier that separates the chamber into two sections. The barrier typically has an aperture in which the membrane containing the pore is formed. Alternatively the barrier forms the membrane in which the pore is present.

[0236] The method may be carried out using the apparatus described in International Application No. PCT/GB08/000562 (published as WO 2008/102120).

[0237] A variety of different types of measurements may be made. This includes without limitation: electrical measurements and optical measurements. Possible electrical measurements include: current measurements, impedance measurements, tunnelling measurements (Ivanov AP et al., Nano Lett. 2011 Jan 12;11(1):279-85), and FET measurements (International Application WO 2005/124888). Optical measurements may be combined with electrical measurements (Soni GV et al., Rev Sci Instrum. 2010 Jan;81(1):014301). The measurement may be a transmembrane current measurement such as measurement of ionic current flowing through the pore.

[0238] Electrical measurements may be made using standard single channel recording equipment as describe in Stoddart D et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci, 12;106(19):7702-7, Lieberman KR et al, J Am Chem Soc. 2010;132(50):17961-72, and International Application WO 2000/28312. Alternatively, electrical measurements may be made using a multi-channel system, for example as described in International Application WO 2009/077734 and International Application WO 2011/067559.

[0239] The method is preferably carried out with a potential applied across the membrane. The applied potential may be a voltage potential. Alternatively, the applied potential may be a chemical potential. An example of this is using a salt gradient across a membrane, such as an amphiphilic layer. A salt gradient is disclosed in Holden et al., J Am Chem Soc. 2007 Jul 11; 129(27):8650-5. In some instances, the current passing through the pore as a polynucleotide moves with respect to the pore is used to estimate or determine the sequence of the polynucleotide. This is strand sequencing.

[0240] The method may involve measuring the current passing through the pore as the polynucleotide moves with respect to the pore. Therefore the apparatus used in the method may also comprise an electrical circuit capable of applying a potential and measuring an electrical signal across the membrane and pore. The methods may be carried out using a patch clamp or a voltage clamp. The methods preferably involve the use of a voltage clamp.

[0241] The method of the invention may involve the measuring of a current passing through the pore as the polynucleotide moves with respect to the pore. Suitable conditions for measuring ionic currents through transmembrane protein pores are known in the art and disclosed in the Example. The method is typically carried out with a voltage applied across the membrane and pore. The voltage used is typically from +5 V to -5 V, such as from +4 V to -4 V, +3 V to -3 V or +2 V to -2 V. The voltage used is typically from -600 mV to +600mV or -400 mV to +400 mV. The voltage used is preferably in a range having a lower limit selected from -400 mV, -300 mV, -200 mV, -150 mV, -100 mV, -50 mV, -20mV and 0 mV and an upper limit independently selected from +10 mV, + 20 mV, +50 mV, +100 mV, +150 mV, +200 mV, +300 mV and +400 mV. The voltage used is more preferably in the range 100 mV to 240 mV and most preferably in the range of 120 mV to 220 mV. It is possible to increase discrimination between different nucleotides by a pore by using an increased applied potential.

[0242] The method is typically carried out in the presence of any charge carriers, such as metal salts, for example alkali metal salt, halide salts, for example chloride salts, such as alkali metal chloride salt. Charge carriers may include ionic liquids or organic salts, for example tetramethyl ammonium chloride, trimethylphenyl ammonium chloride, phenyltrimethyl ammonium chloride, or 1-ethyl-3-methyl imidazolium chloride. In the exemplary apparatus discussed above, the salt is present in the aqueous solution in the chamber. Potassium chloride (KCl), sodium chloride (NaCl), caesium chloride (CsCl) or a mixture of potassium ferrocyanide and potassium ferricyanide is typically used. KCl, NaCl and a mixture of potassium ferrocyanide and potassium ferricyanide are preferred. The charge carriers may be asymmetric across the membrane. For instance, the type and/or concentration of the charge carriers may be different on each side of the membrane.

[0243] The salt concentration may be at saturation. The salt concentration may be 3 M or lower and is typically from 0.1 to 2.5 M, from 0.3 to 1.9 M, from 0.5 to 1.8 M, from 0.7 to 1.7 M, from 0.9 to 1.6 M or from 1 M to 1.4 M. The salt concentration is preferably from 150 mM to 1 M. The method is preferably carried out using a salt concentration of at least 0.3 M, such as at least 0.4 M, at least 0.5 M, at least 0.6 M, at least 0.8 M, at least 1.0 M, at least 1.5 M, at least 2.0 M, at least 2.5 M or at least 3.0 M. High salt concentrations provide a high signal to noise ratio and allow for currents indicative of the presence of a nucleotide to be identified against the background of normal current fluctuations.

[0244] The method is typically carried out in the presence of a buffer. In the exemplary apparatus discussed above, the buffer is present in the aqueous solution in the chamber. Any buffer may be used in the method of the invention. Typically, the buffer is phosphate buffer. Other suitable buffers are HEPES and Tris-HCl buffer. The methods are typically carried out at a pH of from 4.0 to 12.0, from 4.5 to 10.0, from 5.0 to 9.0, from 5.5 to 8.8, from 6.0 to 8.7 or from 7.0 to 8.8 or 7.5 to 8.5. The pH used is preferably about 7.5.

[0245] The method may be carried out at from 0 °C to 100 °C, from 15 °C to 95 °C, from 16 °C to 90 °C, from 17 °C to 85 °C, from 18 °C to 80 °C, 19 °C to 70 °C, or from 20 °C to 60 °C. The methods are typically carried out at room temperature. The methods are optionally carried out at a temperature that supports enzyme function, such as about 37 °C.

Polynucleotide binding protein



[0246] Step (a) preferably comprises contacting the polynucleotide with a polynucleotide binding protein such that the protein controls the movement of the polynucleotide through the pore.

[0247] More preferably, the method comprises (a) contacting the polynucleotide with the pore of the invention and a polynucleotide binding protein such that the protein controls the movement of the polynucleotide through the pore and (b) taking one or more measurements as the polynucleotide moves with respect to the pore, wherein the measurements are indicative of one or more characteristics of the polynucleotide, and thereby characterising the polynucleotide.

[0248] The polynucleotide binding protein may be any protein that is capable of binding to the polynucleotide and controlling its movement through the pore. It is straightforward in the art to determine whether or not a protein binds to a polynucleotide. The protein typically interacts with and modifies at least one property of the polynucleotide. The protein may modify the polynucleotide by cleaving it to form individual nucleotides or shorter chains of nucleotides, such as di- or trinucleotides. The protein may modify the polynucleotide by orienting it or moving it to a specific position, i.e. controlling its movement.

[0249] The polynucleotide binding protein is preferably derived from a polynucleotide handling enzyme. A polynucleotide handling enzyme is a polypeptide that is capable of interacting with and modifying at least one property of a polynucleotide. The enzyme may modify the polynucleotide by cleaving it to form individual nucleotides or shorter chains of nucleotides, such as di- or trinucleotides. The enzyme may modify the polynucleotide by orienting it or moving it to a specific position. The polynucleotide handling enzyme does not need to display enzymatic activity as long as it is capable of binding the polynucleotide and controlling its movement through the pore. For instance, the enzyme may be modified to remove its enzymatic activity or may be used under conditions which prevent it from acting as an enzyme. Such conditions are discussed in more detail below.

[0250] The polynucleotide handling enzyme is preferably derived from a nucleolytic enzyme. The polynucleotide handling enzyme used in the construct of the enzyme is more preferably derived from a member of any of the Enzyme Classification (EC) groups 3.1.11, 3.1.13, 3.1.14, 3.1.15, 3.1.16, 3.1.21, 3.1.22, 3.1.25, 3.1.26, 3.1.27, 3.1.30 and 3.1.31. The enzyme may be any of those disclosed in International Application No. PCT/GB10/000133 (published as WO 2010/086603).

[0251] Preferred enzymes are polymerases, exonucleases, helicases and topoisomerases, such as gyrases. Suitable enzymes include, but are not limited to, exonuclease I from E. coli (SEQ ID NO: 11), exonuclease III enzyme from E. coli (SEQ ID NO: 13), RecJ from T. thermophilus (SEQ ID NO: 15) and bacteriophage lambda exonuclease (SEQ ID NO: 17), TatD exonuclease and variants thereof. Three subunits comprising the sequence shown in SEQ ID NO: 15 or a variant thereof interact to form a trimer exonuclease. The polymerase may be PyroPhage® 3173 DNA Polymerase (which is commercially available from Lucigen® Corporation), SD Polymerase (commercially available from Bioron®) or variants thereof. The enzyme is preferably Phi29 DNA polymerase (SEQ ID NO: 9) or a variant thereof. The topoisomerase is preferably a member of any of the Moiety Classification (EC) groups 5.99.1.2 and 5.99.1.3.

[0252] The enzyme is most preferably derived from a helicase, such as Hel308 Mbu (SEQ ID NO: 18), Hel308 Csy (SEQ ID NO: 19), Hel308 (Tga), Hel308 Mhu (SEQ ID NO: 21), TraI Eco (SEQ ID NO: 22), XPD Mbu (SEQ ID NO: 23) or a variant thereof. Any helicase may be used in the invention. The helicase may be or be derived from a Hel308 helicase, a RecD helicase, such as Tral helicase or a TrwC helicase, a XPD helicase or a Dda helicase. The helicase may be any of the helicases, modified helicases or helicase constructs disclosed in International Application Nos. PCT/GB2012/052579 (published as WO 2013/057495); PCT/GB2012/053274 (published as WO 2013/098562); PCT/GB2012/053273 (published as WO2013098561); PCT/GB2013/051925 (published as WO 2014/013260); PCT/GB2013/051924 (published as WO 2014/013259); PCT/GB2013/051928 (published as WO 2014/013262); PCT/GB2014/052736 (published as WO 2015/055981) and PCT/GB2015/052916.

[0253] The helicase preferably comprises the sequence shown in SEQ ID NO: 25 (Trwc Cba) or as variant thereof, the sequence shown in SEQ ID NO: 18 (Hel308 Mbu) or a variant thereof or the sequence shown in SEQ ID NO: 24 (Dda) or a variant thereof. Variants may differ from the native sequences in any of the ways discussed below for transmembrane pores. A preferred variant of SEQ ID NO: 24 comprises (a) E94C and A360C or (b) E94C, A360C, C109A and C136A and then optionally (ΔM1)G1G2 (i.e. deletion of M1 and then addition G1 and G2).

[0254] Any number of helicases may be used in accordance with the invention. For instance, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 or more helicases may be used. In some embodiments, different numbers of helicases may be used.

[0255] The method of the invention preferably comprises contacting the polynucleotide with two or more helicases. The two or more helicases are typically the same helicase. The two or more helicases may be different helicases.

[0256] The two or more helicases may be any combination of the helicases mentioned above. The two or more helicases may be two or more Dda helicases. The two or more helicases may be one or more Dda helicases and one or more TrwC helicases. The two or more helicases may be different variants of the same helicase.

[0257] The two or more helicases are preferably attached to one another. The two or more helicases are more preferably covalently attached to one another. The helicases may be attached in any order and using any method. Preferred helicase constructs for use in the invention are described in International Application Nos. PCT/GB2013/051925 (published as WO 2014/013260); PCT/GB2013/051924 (published as WO 2014/013259); PCT/GB2013/051928 (published as WO 2014/013262); PCT/GB2014/052736 (published as WO 2015/055981); and PCT/GB2015/052916.

[0258] A variant of SEQ ID NOs: 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 or 25 is an enzyme that has an amino acid sequence which varies from that of SEQ ID NO: 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 or 25 and which retains polynucleotide binding ability. This can be measured using any method known in the art. For instance, the variant can be contacted with a polynucleotide and its ability to bind to and move along the polynucleotide can be measured. The variant may include modifications that facilitate binding of the polynucleotide and/or facilitate its activity at high salt concentrations and/or room temperature. Variants may be modified such that they bind polynucleotides (i.e. retain polynucleotide binding ability) but do not function as a helicase (i.e. do not move along polynucleotides when provided with all the necessary components to facilitate movement, e.g. ATP and Mg2+). Such modifications are known in the art. For instance, modification of the Mg2+ binding domain in helicases typically results in variants which do not function as helicases. These types of variants may act as molecular brakes (see below).

[0259] Over the entire length of the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO: 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 or 25, a variant will preferably be at least 50% homologous to that sequence based on amino acid similarity or identity. More preferably, the variant polypeptide may be at least 55%, at least 60%, at least 65%, at least 70%, at least 75%, at least 80%, at least 85%, at least 90% and more preferably at least 95%, 97% or 99% homologous based on amino acid similarity or identity to the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO: 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 or 25 over the entire sequence. There may be at least 80%, for example at least 85%, 90% or 95%, amino acid similarity or identity over a stretch of 200 or more, for example 230, 250, 270, 280, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900 or 1000 or more, contiguous amino acids ("hard homology"). Homology is determined as described above. The variant may differ from the wild-type sequence in any of the ways discussed above with reference to SEQ ID NO: 2 and 4 above. The enzyme may be covalently attached to the pore. Any method may be used to covalently attach the enzyme to the pore.

[0260] A preferred molecular brake is TrwC Cba-Q594A (SEQ ID NO: 25 with the mutation Q594A). This variant does not function as a helicase (i.e. binds polynucleotides but does not move along them when provided with all the necessary components to facilitate movement, e.g. ATP and Mg2+).

[0261] In strand sequencing, the polynucleotide is translocated through the pore either with or against an applied potential. Exonucleases that act progressively or processively on double stranded polynucleotides can be used on the cis side of the pore to feed the remaining single strand through under an applied potential or the trans side under a reverse potential. Likewise, a helicase that unwinds the double stranded DNA can also be used in a similar manner. A polymerase may also be used. There are also possibilities for sequencing applications that require strand translocation against an applied potential, but the DNA must be first "caught" by the enzyme under a reverse or no potential. With the potential then switched back following binding the strand will pass cis to trans through the pore and be held in an extended conformation by the current flow. The single strand DNA exonucleases or single strand DNA dependent polymerases can act as molecular motors to pull the recently translocated single strand back through the pore in a controlled stepwise manner, trans to cis, against the applied potential.

[0262] Any helicase may be used in the method. Helicases may work in two modes with respect to the pore. First, the method is preferably carried out using a helicase such that it moves the polynucleotide through the pore with the field resulting from the applied voltage. In this mode the 5' end of the polynucleotide is first captured in the pore, and the helicase moves the polynucleotide into the pore such that it is passed through the pore with the field until it finally translocates through to the trans side of the membrane. Alternatively, the method is preferably carried out such that a helicase moves the polynucleotide through the pore against the field resulting from the applied voltage. In this mode the 3' end of the polynucleotide is first captured in the pore, and the helicase moves the polynucleotide through the pore such that it is pulled out of the pore against the applied field until finally ejected back to the cis side of the membrane.

[0263] The method may also be carried out in the opposite direction. The 3' end of the polynucleotide may be first captured in the pore and the helicase may move the polynucleotide into the pore such that it is passed through the pore with the field until it finally translocates through to the trans side of the membrane.

[0264] When the helicase is not provided with the necessary components to facilitate movement or is modified to hinder or prevent its movement, it can bind to the polynucleotide and act as a brake slowing the movement of the polynucleotide when it is pulled into the pore by the applied field. In the inactive mode, it does not matter whether the polynucleotide is captured either 3' or 5' down, it is the applied field which pulls the polynucleotide into the pore towards the trans side with the enzyme acting as a brake. When in the inactive mode, the movement control of the polynucleotide by the helicase can be described in a number of ways including ratcheting, sliding and braking. Helicase variants which lack helicase activity can also be used in this way.

[0265] The polynucleotide may be contacted with the polynucleotide binding protein and the pore in any order. It is preferred that, when the polynucleotide is contacted with the polynucleotide binding protein, such as a helicase, and the pore, the polynucleotide firstly forms a complex with the protein. When the voltage is applied across the pore, the polynucleotide/protein complex then forms a complex with the pore and controls the movement of the polynucleotide through the pore.

[0266] Any steps in the method using a polynucleotide binding protein are typically carried out in the presence of free nucleotides or free nucleotide analogues and an enzyme cofactor that facilitates the action of the polynucleotide binding protein. The free nucleotides may be one or more of any of the individual nucleotides discussed above. The free nucleotides include, but are not limited to, adenosine monophosphate (AMP), adenosine diphosphate (ADP), adenosine triphosphate (ATP), guanosine monophosphate (GMP), guanosine diphosphate (GDP), guanosine triphosphate (GTP), thymidine monophosphate (TMP), thymidine diphosphate (TDP), thymidine triphosphate (TTP), uridine monophosphate (UMP), uridine diphosphate (UDP), uridine triphosphate (UTP), cytidine monophosphate (CMP), cytidine diphosphate (CDP), cytidine triphosphate (CTP), cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), deoxyadenosine monophosphate (dAMP), deoxyadenosine diphosphate (dADP), deoxyadenosine triphosphate (dATP), deoxyguanosine monophosphate (dGMP), deoxyguanosine diphosphate (dGDP), deoxyguanosine triphosphate (dGTP), deoxythymidine monophosphate (dTMP), deoxythymidine diphosphate (dTDP), deoxythymidine triphosphate (dTTP), deoxyuridine monophosphate (dUMP), deoxyuridine diphosphate (dUDP), deoxyuridine triphosphate (dUTP), deoxycytidine monophosphate (dCMP), deoxycytidine diphosphate (dCDP) and deoxycytidine triphosphate (dCTP). The free nucleotides are preferably selected from AMP, TMP, GMP, CMP, UMP, dAMP, dTMP, dGMP or dCMP. The free nucleotides are preferably adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The enzyme cofactor is a factor that allows the construct to function. The enzyme cofactor is preferably a divalent metal cation. The divalent metal cation is preferably Mg2+, Mn2+, Ca2+ or Co2+. The enzyme cofactor is most preferably Mg2+.

Helicase(s) and molecular brake(s)



[0267] In a preferred embodiment, the method comprises:
  1. (a) providing the polynucleotide with one or more helicases and one or more molecular brakes attached to the polynucleotide;
  2. (b) contacting the polynucleotide with a pore of the invention and applying a potential across the pore such that the one or more helicases and the one or more molecular brakes are brought together and both control the movement of the polynucleotide through the pore;
  3. (c) taking one or more measurements as the polynucleotide moves with respect to the pore wherein the measurements are indicative of one or more characteristics of the polynucleotide and thereby characterising the polynucleotide.


[0268] This type of method is discussed in detail in the International Application PCT/GB2014/052737 (published as WO 2015/110777).

[0269] The one or more helicases may be any of those discussed above. The one or more molecular brakes may be any compound or molecule which binds to the polynucleotide and slows the movement of the polynucleotide through the pore. The one or more molecular brakes preferably comprise one or more compounds which bind to the polynucleotide. The one or more compounds are preferably one or more macrocycles. Suitable macrocycles include, but are not limited to, cyclodextrins, calixarenes, cyclic peptides, crown ethers, cucurbiturils, pillararenes, derivatives thereof or a combination thereof. The cyclodextrin or derivative thereof may be any of those disclosed in Eliseev, A. V., and Schneider, H-J. (1994) J. Am. Chem. Soc. 116, 6081-6088. The agent is more preferably heptakis-6-amino-β-cyclodextrin (am7-βCD), 6-monodeoxy-6-monoamino-β-cyclodextrin (am1-βCD) or heptakis-(6-deoxy-6-guanidino)-cyclodextrin (gu7-βCD).

[0270] The one or more molecular brakes are preferably one or more single stranded binding proteins (SSB). The one or more molecular brakes are more preferably a single-stranded binding protein (SSB) comprising a carboxy-terminal (C-terminal) region which does not have a net negative charge or (ii) a modified SSB comprising one or more modifications in its C-terminal region which decreases the net negative charge of the C-terminal region. The one or more molecular brakes are most preferably any of the SSBs disclosed in International Application No. PCT/GB2013/051924 (published as WO 2014/013259).

[0271] The one or more molecular brakes are preferably one or more polynucleotide binding proteins. The polynucleotide binding protein may be any protein that is capable of binding to the polynucleotide and controlling its movement through the pore. It is straightforward in the art to determine whether or not a protein binds to a polynucleotide. The protein typically interacts with and modifies at least one property of the polynucleotide. The protein may modify the polynucleotide by cleaving it to form individual nucleotides or shorter chains of nucleotides, such as di- or trinucleotides. The moiety may modify the polynucleotide by orienting it or moving it to a specific position, i.e. controlling its movement.

[0272] The polynucleotide binding protein is preferably derived from a polynucleotide handling enzyme. The one or more molecular brakes may be derived from any of the polynucleotide handling enzymes discussed above. Modified versions of Phi29 polymerase (SEQ ID NO: 8) which act as molecular brakes are disclosed in US Patent No. 5,576,204. The one or more molecular brakes are preferably derived from a helicase.

[0273] Any number of molecular brakes derived from a helicase may be used. For instance, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 or more helicases may be used as molecular brakes. If two or more helicases are be used as molecular brakes, the two or more helicases are typically the same helicase. The two or more helicases may be different helicases.

[0274] The two or more helicases may be any combination of the helicases mentioned above. The two or more helicases may be two or more Dda helicases. The two or more helicases may be one or more Dda helicases and one or more TrwC helicases. The two or more helicases may be different variants of the same helicase.

[0275] The two or more helicases are preferably attached to one another. The two or more helicases are more preferably covalently attached to one another. The helicases may be attached in any order and using any method. The one or more molecular brakes derived from helicases are preferably modified to reduce the size of an opening in the polynucleotide binding domain through which in at least one conformational state the polynucleotide can unbind from the helicase. This is disclosed in WO 2014/013260.

[0276] Preferred helicase constructs for use in the invention are described in International Application Nos. PCT/GB2013/051925 (published as WO 2014/013260); PCT/GB2013/051924 (published as WO 2014/013259); PCT/GB2013/051928 (published as WO 2014/013262) and PCT/GB2014/052736 (published as WO 2015/055981).

Spacers



[0277] The one or more helicases may be stalled at one or more spacers as discussed in International Application No. PCT/GB2014/050175 (published as WO 2014/135838). Any configuration of one or more helicases and one or more spacers disclosed in the International Application may be used in this invention.

Membrane



[0278] The pore of the invention may be present in a membrane. In the method of the invention, the polynucleotide is typically contacted with the pore of the invention in a membrane. Any membrane may be used in accordance with the invention. Suitable membranes are well-known in the art. The membrane is preferably an amphiphilic layer. An amphiphilic layer is a layer formed from amphiphilic molecules, such as phospholipids, which have both hydrophilic and lipophilic properties. The amphiphilic molecules may be synthetic or naturally occurring. Non-naturally occurring amphiphiles and amphiphiles which form a monolayer are known in the art and include, for example, block copolymers (Gonzalez-Perez et al., Langmuir, 2009, 25, 10447-10450). Block copolymers are polymeric materials in which two or more monomer sub-units that are polymerized together to create a single polymer chain. Block copolymers typically have properties that are contributed by each monomer sub-unit. However, a block copolymer may have unique properties that polymers formed from the individual sub-units do not possess. Block copolymers can be engineered such that one of the monomer sub-units is hydrophobic (i.e. lipophilic), whilst the other sub-unit(s) are hydrophilic whilst in aqueous media. In this case, the block copolymer may possess amphiphilic properties and may form a structure that mimics a biological membrane. The block copolymer may be a diblock (consisting of two monomer sub-units), but may also be constructed from more than two monomer sub-units to form more complex arrangements that behave as amphipiles. The copolymer may be a triblock, tetrablock or pentablock copolymer. The membrane is preferably a triblock copolymer membrane.

[0279] Archaebacterial bipolar tetraether lipids are naturally occurring lipids that are constructed such that the lipid forms a monolayer membrane. These lipids are generally found in extremophiles that survive in harsh biological environments, thermophiles, halophiles and acidophiles. Their stability is believed to derive from the fused nature of the final bilayer. It is straightforward to construct block copolymer materials that mimic these biological entities by creating a triblock polymer that has the general motif hydrophilic-hydrophobic-hydrophilic. This material may form monomeric membranes that behave similarly to lipid bilayers and encompass a range of phase behaviours from vesicles through to laminar membranes. Membranes formed from these triblock copolymers hold several advantages over biological lipid membranes. Because the triblock copolymer is synthesized, the exact construction can be carefully controlled to provide the correct chain lengths and properties required to form membranes and to interact with pores and other proteins.

[0280] Block copolymers may also be constructed from sub-units that are not classed as lipid sub-materials; for example a hydrophobic polymer may be made from siloxane or other non-hydrocarbon based monomers. The hydrophilic sub-section of block copolymer can also possess low protein binding properties, which allows the creation of a membrane that is highly resistant when exposed to raw biological samples. This head group unit may also be derived from non-classical lipid head-groups.

[0281] Triblock copolymer membranes also have increased mechanical and environmental stability compared with biological lipid membranes, for example a much higher operational temperature or pH range. The synthetic nature of the block copolymers provides a platform to customize polymer based membranes for a wide range of applications.

[0282] The membrane is most preferably one of the membranes disclosed in International Application No. PCT/GB2013/052766 (published as WO 2014/064443) or PCT/GB2013/052767 (published as WO 2014/064444).

[0283] The amphiphilic molecules may be chemically-modified or functionalised to facilitate coupling of the polynucleotide.

[0284] The amphiphilic layer may be a monolayer or a bilayer. The amphiphilic layer is typically planar. The amphiphilic layer may be curved. The amphiphilic layer may be supported.

[0285] Amphiphilic membranes are typically naturally mobile, essentially acting as two dimensional fluids with lipid diffusion rates of approximately 10-8 cm s-1. This means that the pore and coupled polynucleotide can typically move within an amphiphilic membrane.

[0286] The membrane may be a lipid bilayer. Lipid bilayers are models of cell membranes and serve as excellent platforms for a range of experimental studies. For example, lipid bilayers can be used for in vitro investigation of membrane proteins by single-channel recording. Alternatively, lipid bilayers can be used as biosensors to detect the presence of a range of substances. The lipid bilayer may be any lipid bilayer. Suitable lipid bilayers include, but are not limited to, a planar lipid bilayer, a supported bilayer or a liposome. The lipid bilayer is preferably a planar lipid bilayer. Suitable lipid bilayers are disclosed in International Application No. PCT/GB08/000563 (published as WO 2008/102121), International Application No. PCT/GB08/004127 (published as WO 2009/077734) and International Application No. PCT/GB2006/001057 (published as WO 2006/100484).

Coupling



[0287] The polynucleotide is preferably coupled to the membrane comprising the pore of the invention. The method may comprise coupling the polynucleotide to the membrane comprising the pore of the invention. The polynucleotide is preferably coupled to the membrane using one or more anchors. The polynucleotide may be coupled to the membrane using any known method.

[0288] Each anchor comprises a group which couples (or binds) to the polynucleotide and a group which couples (or binds) to the membrane. Each anchor may covalently couple (or bind) to the polynucleotide and/or the membrane. If a Y adaptor and/or a bridging moiety/hairpin loop adaptors are used, the polynucleotide is preferably coupled to the membrane using the adaptor(s).

[0289] The polynucleotide may be coupled to the membrane using any number of anchors, such as 2, 3, 4 or more anchors. For instance, a polynucleotide may be coupled to the membrane using two anchors each of which separately couples (or binds) to both the polynucleotide and membrane.

[0290] The one or more anchors may comprise the one or more helicases and/or the one or more molecular brakes.

[0291] If the membrane is an amphiphilic layer, such as a copolymer membrane or a lipid bilayer, the one or more anchors preferably comprise a polypeptide anchor present in the membrane and/or a hydrophobic anchor present in the membrane. The hydrophobic anchor is preferably a lipid, fatty acid, sterol, carbon nanotube, polypeptide, protein or amino acid, for example cholesterol, palmitate or tocopherol. In preferred aspects, the one or more anchors are not the pore.

[0292] The components of the membrane, such as the amphiphilic molecules, copolymer or lipids, may be chemically-modified or functionalised to form the one or more anchors. Examples of suitable chemical modifications and suitable ways of functionalising the components of the membrane are discussed in more detail below. Any proportion of the membrane components may be functionalized, for example at least 0.01%, at least 0.1%, at least 1%, at least 10%, at least 25%, at least 50% or 100%.

[0293] The polynucleotide may be coupled directly to the membrane. The one or more anchors used to couple the polynucleotide to the membrane preferably comprise a linker. The one or more anchors may comprise one or more, such as 2, 3, 4 or more, linkers. One linker may be used couple more than one, such as 2, 3, 4 or more, polynucleotides to the membrane.

[0294] Preferred linkers include, but are not limited to, polymers, such as polynucleotides, polyethylene glycols (PEGs), polysaccharides and polypeptides. These linkers may be linear, branched or circular. For instance, the linker may be a circular polynucleotide. The polynucleotide may hybridise to a complementary sequence on the circular polynucleotide linker.

[0295] Such linkers are described in International Application No. PCT/GB10/000132 (published as WO 2010/086602).

[0296] The coupling may be permanent or stable. In other words, the coupling may be such that the polynucleotide remains coupled to the membrane when interacting with the pore.

[0297] The coupling may be transient. In other words, the coupling may be such that the polynucleotide may decouple from the membrane when interacting with the pore.

[0298] Coupling of polynucleotides to a linker or to a functionalised membrane can also be achieved by a number of other means provided that a complementary reactive group or an anchoring group can be added to the polynucleotide. The addition of reactive groups to either end of a polynucleotide has been reported previously. The one or more anchors preferably couple the polynucleotide to the membrane via hybridisation. Hybridisation in the one or more anchors allows coupling in a transient manner as discussed above. The one or more anchors may comprise a single stranded or double stranded polynucleotide. One part of the anchor may be ligated to a single stranded or double stranded polynucleotide. Ligation of short pieces of ssDNA have been reported using T4 RNA ligase I (Troutt, A. B., M. G. McHeyzer-Williams, et al. (1992). "Ligation-anchored PCR: a simple amplification technique with single-sided specificity." Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 89(20): 9823-5). Alternatively, either a single stranded or double stranded polynucleotide can be ligated to a double stranded polynucleotide and then the two strands separated by thermal or chemical denaturation. If the polynucleotide is a synthetic strand, the one or more anchors can be incorporated during the chemical synthesis of the polynucleotide. For instance, the polynucleotide can be synthesised using a primer having a reactive group attached to it.

[0299] Ideally, the polynucleotide is coupled to the membrane without having to functionalise the polynucleotide. This can be achieved by coupling the one or more anchors, such as a polynucleotide binding protein or a chemical group, to the membrane and allowing the one or more anchors to interact with the polynucleotide or by functionalizing the membrane. The one or more anchors may be coupled to the membrane by any of the methods described herein. In particular, the one or more anchors may comprise one or more linkers, such as maleimide functionalised linkers.

[0300] In this embodiment, the polynucleotide is typically RNA, DNA, PNA, TNA or LNA and may be double or single stranded. This embodiment is particularly suited to genomic DNA polynucleotides.

[0301] Where the one or more anchors comprise a protein, they may be able to anchor directly into the membrane without further functonalisation, for example if it already has an external hydrophobic region which is compatible with the membrane. Examples of such proteins include, but are not limited to, transmembrane proteins, intramembrane proteins and membrane proteins.

[0302] According to a preferred embodiment, the one or more anchors may be used to couple a polynucleotide to the membrane when the polynucleotide is attached to a leader sequence which preferentially threads into the pore. Leader sequences are discussed in more detail below. Preferably, the polynucleotide is attached (such as ligated) to a leader sequence which preferentially threads into the pore. Such a leader sequence may comprise a homopolymeric polynucleotide or an abasic region. The leader sequence is typically designed to hybridise to the one or more anchors either directly or via one or more intermediate polynucleotides (or splints). In such instances, the one or more anchors typically comprise a polynucleotide sequence which is complementary to a sequence in the leader sequence or a sequence in the one or more intermediate polynucleotides (or splints). In such instances, the one or more splints typically comprise a polynucleotide sequence which is complementary to a sequence in the leader sequence.

[0303] The method of the invention may involve double coupling of a double stranded polynucleotide. This type of method is discussed in detail in the International Application No.PCT/GB2015/050991 (published as WO 2015/150786).

Double stranded polynucleotide



[0304] The polynucleotide may be double stranded. If the polynucleotide is double stranded, the method preferably further comprises before the contacting step ligating a bridging moiety, such as a hairpin loop, to one end of the polynucleotide. The two strands of the polynucleotide may then be separated as or before the polynucleotide is contacted with the pore in accordance with the invention. The two strands may be separated as the polynucleotide movement through the pore is controlled by a polynucleotide binding protein, such as a helicase, or molecular brake. This is described in International Patent Application No. PCT/GB/2012/051786 (published as WO 2013/014451).

[0305] Linking and interrogating both strands on a double stranded construct in this way increases the efficiency and accuracy of characterisation, as described in WO 2010/08622 and WO 2013/014451.

Leader sequence



[0306] Before the contacting step, the method preferably comprises attaching to the polynucleotide a leader sequence which preferentially threads into the pore. The leader sequence facilitates the method of the invention. The leader sequence is designed to preferentially thread into the pore of the invention and thereby facilitate the movement of polynucleotide through the pore. The leader sequence can also be used to link the polynucleotide to the one or more anchors as discussed above.

Adding hairpin loops and leader sequences



[0307] Before provision, a double stranded polynucleotide may be contacted with a MuA transposase and a population of double stranded MuA substrates, wherein a proportion of the substrates in the population are Y adaptors comprising the leader sequence and wherein a proportion of the substrates in the population are bridging moiety adaptors, such as hairpin loop adaptors. The transposase fragments the double stranded polynucleotide analyte and ligates MuA substrates to one or both ends of the fragments. This produces a plurality of modified double stranded polynucleotides comprising the leader sequence at one end and the bridging moiety adaptor (or hairpin loop adaptor) at the other. The modified double stranded polynucleotides may then be investigated using the method of the invention.

[0308] These MuA based methods are disclosed in International Application No. PCT/GB2014/052505 (published as WO 2015/022544). They are also discussed in detail in the International Application No. PCT/GB2015/050461.

[0309] One or more helicases may be attached to the MuA substrate Y adaptors before they are contacted with the double stranded polynucleotide and MuA transposase. Alternatively, one or more helicases may be attached to the MuA substrate Y adaptors before they are contacted with the double stranded polynucleotide and MuA transposase.

[0310] One or more molecular brakes may be attached to the MuA substrate bridging moiety adaptors or hairpin loop adaptors before they are contacted with the double stranded polynucleotide and MuA transposase. Alternatively, one or more molecular brakes may be attached to the MuA substrate bridging moiety adaptors or hairpin loop adaptors before they are contacted with the double stranded polynucleotide and MuA transposase.

Uncoupling



[0311] The method of the invention may involve characterising multiple target polynucleotides and uncoupling of the at least the first target polynucleotide.

[0312] In a preferred embodiment, the invention involves characterising two or more target polynucleotides. The method comprises:
  1. (a) providing a first polynucleotide in a first sample;
  2. (b) providing a second polynucleotide in a second sample;
  3. (c) coupling the first polynucleotide in the first sample to a membrane using one or more anchors;
  4. (d) contacting the first polynucleotide with the pore of the invention such that the polynucleotide moves through the pore;
  5. (e) taking one or more measurements as the first polynucleotide moves with respect to the pore wherein the measurements are indicative of one or more characteristics of the first polynucleotide and thereby characterising the first polynucleotide;
  6. (f) uncoupling the first polynucleotide from the membrane;
  7. (g) coupling the second polynucleotide in the second sample to the membrane using one or more anchors;
  8. (h) contacting the second polynucleotide with the pore of the invention such that the second polynucleotide moves through the pore; and
  9. (i) taking one or more measurements as the second polynucleotide moves with respect to the pore wherein the measurements are indicative of one or more characteristics of the second polynucleotide and thereby characterising the second polynucleotide.


[0313] This type of method is discussed in detail in the International Application No. PCT/GB2015/050992 (published as WO 2015/150787).

[0314] If one or more anchors comprise a hydrophobic anchor, such as cholesterol, the agent is preferably a cyclodextrin or a derivative thereof or a lipid. The cyclodextrin or derivative thereof may be any of those disclosed in Eliseev, A. V., and Schneider, H-J. (1994) J. Am. Chem. Soc. 116, 6081-6088. The agent is more preferably heptakis-6-amino-β-cyclodextrin (am7-βCD), 6-monodeoxy-6-monoamino-β-cyclodextrin (am1-βCD) or heptakis-(6-deoxy-6-guanidino)-cyclodextrin (gu7-βCD). Any of the lipids disclosed herein may be used.

Modified polynucleotides



[0315] Before characterisation, a target polynucleotide may be modified by contacting the polynucleotide with a polymerase and a population of free nucleotides under conditions in which the polymerase forms a modified polynucleotide using the target polynucleotide as a template, wherein the polymerase replaces one or more of the nucleotide species in the target polynucleotide with a different nucleotide species when forming the modified polynucleotide. The modified polynucleotide may then be provided with one or more helicases attached to the polynucleotide and one or more molecular brakes attached to the polynucleotide. This type of modification is described in International Application No. PCT/GB2015/050483 (published as WO 2015/124935). Any of the polymerases discussed above may be used. The polymerase is preferably Klenow or 9o North.

[0316] The template polynucleotide is contacted with the polymerase under conditions in which the polymerase forms a modified polynucleotide using the template polynucleotide as a template. Such conditions are known in the art. For instance, the polynucleotide is typically contacted with the polymerase in commercially available polymerase buffer, such as buffer from New England Biolabs®. The temperature is preferably from 20 to 37°C for Klenow or from 60 to 75°C for 9o North. A primer or a 3' hairpin is typically used as the nucleation point for polymerase extension.

[0317] Characterisation, such as sequencing, of a polynucleotide using a transmembrane pore typically involves analyzing polymer units made up of k nucleotides where k is a positive integer (i.e. 'k-mers'). This is discussed in International Application No. PCT/GB2012/052343 (published as WO 2013/041878). While it is desirable to have clear separation between current measurements for different k-mers, it is common for some of these measurements to overlap. Especially with high numbers of polymer units in the k-mer, i.e. high values of k, it can become difficult to resolve the measurements produced by different k-mers, to the detriment of deriving information about the polynucleotide, for example an estimate of the underlying sequence of the polynucleotide.

[0318] By replacing one or more nucleotide species in the target polynucleotide with different nucleotide species in the modified polynucleotide, the modified polynucleotide contains k-mers which differ from those in the target polynucleotide. The different k-mers in the modified polynucleotide are capable of producing different current measurements from the k-mers in the target polynucleotide and so the modified polynucleotide provides different information from the target polynucleotide. The additional information from the modified polynucleotide can make it easier to characterise the target polynucleotide. In some instances, the modified polynucleotide itself may be easier to characterise. For instance, the modified polynucleotide may be designed to include k-mers with an increased separation or a clear separation between their current measurements or k-mers which have a decreased noise.

[0319] The polymerase preferably replaces two or more of the nucleotide species in the target polynucleotide with different nucleotide species when forming the modified polynucleotide. The polymerase may replace each of the two or more nucleotide species in the target polynucleotide with a distinct nucleotide species. The polymerase may replace each of the two or more nucleotide species in the target polynucleotide with the same nucleotide species.

[0320] If the target polynucleotide is DNA, the different nucleotide species in the modified typically comprises a nucleobase which differs from adenine, guanine, thymine, cytosine or methylcytosine and/or comprises a nucleoside which differs from deoxyadenosine, deoxyguanosine, thymidine, deoxycytidine or deoxymethylcytidine. If the target polynucleotide is RNA, the different nucleotide species in the modified polynucleotide typically comprises a nucleobase which differs from adenine, guanine, uracil, cytosine or methylcytosine and/or comprises a nucleoside which differs from adenosine, guanosine, uridine, cytidine or methylcytidine. The different nucleotide species may be any of the universal nucleotides discussed above.

[0321] The polymerase may replace the one or more nucleotide species with a different nucleotide species which comprises a chemical group or atom absent from the one or more nucleotide species. The chemical group may be a propynyl group, a thio group, an oxo group, a methyl group, a hydroxymethyl group, a formyl group, a carboxy group, a carbonyl group, a benzyl group, a propargyl group or a propargylamine group.

[0322] The polymerase may replace the one or more nucleotide species with a different nucleotide species which lacks a chemical group or atom present in the one or more nucleotide species. The polymerase may replace the one or more of the nucleotide species with a different nucleotide species having an altered electronegativity. The different nucleotide species having an altered electronegativity preferably comprises a halogen atom.

[0323] The method preferably further comprises selectively removing the nucleobases from the one or more different nucleotides species in the modified polynucleotide.

Other characterisation method



[0324] In another aspect, a polynucleotide may be characterised by detecting labelled species that are released as a polymerase incorporates nucleotides into the polynucleotide. The polymerase uses the polynucleotide as a template. Each labelled species is specific for each nucleotide. The polynucleotide is contacted with a pore of the invention, a polymerase and labelled nucleotides such that phosphate labelled species are sequentially released when nucleotides are added to the polynucleotide(s) by the polymerase, wherein the phosphate species contain a label specific for each nucleotide. The polymerase may be any of those discussed above. The phosphate labelled species are detected using the pore and thereby characterising the polynucleotide. This type of method is disclosed in European Application No. 13187149.3 (published as EP 2682460). Any of the embodiments discussed above equally apply to this method.

Kits



[0325] Also described herein is a kit for characterising a target polynucleotide. The kit comprises a hetero-oligomeric pore of the invention and the components of a membrane. The membrane is preferably formed from the components. The pore is preferably present in the membrane. The kit may comprise components of any of the membranes disclosed above, such as an amphiphilic layer or a triblock copolymer membrane.

[0326] The kit may further comprise a polynucleotide binding protein.

[0327] The kit may further comprise one or more anchors for coupling the polynucleotide to the membrane.

[0328] The kit is preferably for characterising a double stranded polynucleotide and preferably comprises a Y adaptor and a bridging moiety adaptor, such as a hairpin loop adaptor. The Y adaptor preferably has one or more helicases attached and the bridging moiety adaptor or hairpin loop adaptor preferably has one or more molecular brakes attached. The Y adaptor preferably comprises one or more first anchors for coupling the polynucleotide to the membrane, the bridging moiety adaptor or hairpin loop adaptor preferably comprises one or more second anchors for coupling the polynucleotide to the membrane and the strength of coupling of the bridging moiety adaptor or hairpin loop adaptor to the membrane is preferably greater than the strength of coupling of the Y adaptor to the membrane.

[0329] The kit described herein may additionally comprise one or more other reagents or instruments which enable any of the embodiments mentioned above to be carried out. Such reagents or instruments include one or more of the following: suitable buffer(s) (aqueous solutions), means to obtain a sample from a subject (such as a vessel or an instrument comprising a needle), means to amplify and/or express polynucleotides or voltage or patch clamp apparatus. Reagents may be present in the kit in a dry state such that a fluid sample resuspends the reagents. The kit may also, optionally, comprise instructions to enable the kit to be used in the method of the invention or details regarding for which organism the method may be used.

Apparatus



[0330] Also described herein is an apparatus for characterising a target polynucleotide. The apparatus comprises a plurality of hetero-oligomeric pores of the invention and a plurality of membranes. The plurality of pores are preferably present in the plurality of membranes. The number of pores and membranes is preferably equal. Preferably, a single pore is present in each membrane.

[0331] The apparatus preferably further comprises instructions for carrying out the method of the invention. The apparatus may be any conventional apparatus for polynucleotide analysis, such as an array or a chip. Any of the embodiments discussed above with reference to the methods of the invention are equally applicable to the apparatus described herein. The apparatus may further comprise any of the features present in the kit described herein.

[0332] The apparatus is preferably set up to carry out the method of the invention.

[0333] The apparatus preferably comprises:

a sensor device that is capable of supporting the plurality of pores and membranes and being operable to perform polynucleotide characterisation using the pores and membranes; and

at least one port for delivery of the material for performing the characterisation.

Alternatively, the apparatus preferably comprises:

a sensor device that is capable of supporting the plurality of pores and membranes being operable to perform polynucleotide characterisation using the pores and membranes; and

at least one reservoir for holding material for performing the characterisation.



[0334] The apparatus more preferably comprises:

a sensor device that is capable of supporting the membrane and plurality of pores and membranes and being operable to perform polynucleotide characterising using the pores and membranes;

at least one reservoir for holding material for performing the characterising;

a fluidics system configured to controllably supply material from the at least one reservoir to the sensor device; and

one or more containers for receiving respective samples, the fluidics system being configured to supply the samples selectively from one or more containers to the sensor device.



[0335] The apparatus may be any of those described in International Application No. No. PCT/GB08/004127 (published as WO 2009/077734), PCT/GB10/000789 (published as WO 2010/122293), International Application No. PCT/GB10/002206 (published as WO 2011/067559) or International Application No. PCT/US99/25679 (published as WO 00/28312).

Methods of forming sensors



[0336] Also described herein is a method of forming a sensor for characterising a target polynucleotide. The method comprises forming a complex between a hetero-oligomeric pore of the invention and a polynucleotide binding protein, such as a helicase or an exonuclease. The complex may be formed by contacting the pore and the protein in the presence of the target polynucleotide and then applying a potential across the pore. The applied potential may be a chemical potential or a voltage potential as described above. Alternatively, the complex may be formed by covalently attaching the pore to the protein. Methods for covalent attachment are known in the art and disclosed, for example, in International Application Nos. PCT/GB09/001679 (published as WO 2010/004265) and PCT/GB10/000133 (published as WO 2010/086603). The complex is a sensor for characterising the target polynucleotide. The method preferably comprises forming a complex between a hetero-oligomeric pore of the invention and a helicase. Any of the embodiments discussed above equally apply to this method.

[0337] Also described herein is a sensor for characterising a target polynucleotide. The sensor comprises a complex between a hetero-oligomeric pore of the invention and a polynucleotide binding protein. Any of the embodiments discussed above equally apply to the sensor described herein.

[0338] The following Example illustrates the invention.

Example 1



[0339] This example describes how a helicase - T4 Dda ― E94C/C109A/C136A/A360C (SEQ ID NO: 24 with mutations E94C/C109A/C136A/A360C) was used to control the movement of DNA construct X (see Figure 5 for description of construct and corresponding sequences) through a number of different hetero-oligomeric MspA nanopores. All of the nanopores tested exhibited changes in current as the DNA translocated through the nanopore. The mutant nanopores tested had one monomer of the nanopore that was different from the rest of the monomers in the pore. The mutant nanopores exhibited increased average current range or increased average signal to noise associated with the movement of the target polynucleotide through the transmembrane pore.

Materials and Methods



[0340] Prior to setting up the experiment, DNA construct X (final concentration 0.1 nM) was pre-incubated at room temperature for five minutes with T4 Dda ― E94C/C109A/C136A/A360C (final concentration added to the nanopore system 10 nM, which was provided in buffer (151.5 mM KCl, 25 mM potassium phosphate, 5% glycerol, pH 7.0, 1 mM EDTA)). After five minutes, TMAD (100 µM) was added to the pre-mix and the mixture incubated for a further 5 minutes. Finally, MgC12 (2 mM final concentration added to the nanopore system), ATP (2 mM final concentration added to the nanopore system) and KCl (500 mM final concentration added to the nanopore system) were added to the pre-mix.

[0341] Electrical measurements were acquired from single MspA nanopores inserted in block co-polymer in buffer (25mM K Phosphate buffer, 150mM Potassium Ferrocyanide (II), 150mM Potassium Ferricyanide (III), pH 8.0). After achieving a single pore inserted in the block co-polymer, then buffer (2 mL, 25mM K Phosphate buffer, 150mM Potassium Ferrocyanide (II), 150mM Potassium Ferricyanide (III), pH 8.0) was flowed through the system to remove any excess MspA nanopores. 150uL of 500mM KCl, 25mM K Phosphate, pH8.0 was then flowed through the system. After 10 minutes a further 150uL of 500mM KCl, 25mM K Phosphate, pH8.0 was flowed through the system and then the enzyme (T4 Dda - E94C/C109A/C136A/A360C, 10 nM final concentration), DNA construct X (0.1 nM final concentration), fuel (MgC12 2 mM final concentration, ATP 2 mM final concentration) pre-mix (150 µL total) was then flowed into the single nanopore experimental system. The experiment was run at - 120 mV and helicase-controlled DNA movement monitored.

Results



[0342] A number of different mutant nanopores were investigated in order to determine the effect of the one monomer unit which was different to the rest of the monomer units in the nanopore. The mutant pores which were investigated are listed below along with the baseline nanopore with which they were compared. A number of different parameters were investigated in order to identify improved nanopores 1) the average noise of the signal (where noise is equal to the standard deviation of all events in a strand, calculated over all strands) which in an improved nanopore would be lower than the baseline, 2) the average current range which was a measure of the spread of current levels within a signal and which in an improved nanopore would be higher than the baseline and 3) the average signal to noise quoted in the table is the signal to noise (average current range divided by average noise of the signal) over all strands and in an improved nanopore would be higher than the baseline.

[0343] In table 4 below, MspA mutants 2-22 (which contained one monomer of the nanopore that was different from the rest of the monomers in the pore) were compared to MspA mutant 1 (baseline, which was a homo-oligomeric MspA nanopore). MspA mutants 2-12 all had seven monomers which had the same mutations as MspA 1 (G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K) but they differed from MspA mutant 1 in the fact that they had an 8th monomer which was different from the mutations in MspA 1. Of the various parameters which were investigated and measured - average noise of the signal, average current range and average signal to noise, MspA mutants 2-12 exhibited an improvement in at least one of these parameters when compared to the baseline nanopore MspA mutant 1. Therefore, the hetero-oligomeric nanopores resulted in increased average current range or increased average signal to noise associated with the movement of construct X through the MspA mutant nanopores (e.g. either increased current range or higher average signal to noise).

[0344] In table 4 below, a number of MspA mutants 13-18 and 21-22 were compared to MspA mutant 1 (baseline). MspA mutants 13-18 and 21-22 had seven monomers which all had the same mutations as MspA 1 (G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K), plus some additional mutations which had been made to all 7 monomers which were different from MspA mutant 1. As for mutants 2-12, mutants 13-18 and 21-22 were also all hetero-oligomeric nanopores and contained a single monomer which was different from the other seven monomers and had different mutations from MspA 1. MspA mutants 13-18 and 21-22 exhibited an improvement in at least one of the measured parameters (average noise of the signal, average current range and average signal to noise) when compared to MspA mutant 1. However, the increased average current range or increased average signal to noise associated with the movement of construct X through the MspA mutant nanopore was attributed to the combination of changes made to the nanopores (MspA mutants 13-18 and 21-22) e.g. for MspA mutants 13-18 the improvements were owing to both the additional mutations in seven of the subunits and the single monomer which was different from the other seven monomers.

[0345] In table 4 below, MspA mutants 19 and 20 were compared to MspA mutant 1 (baseline). MspA mutant 19 had seven monomers which had the following mutations in common with MspA 1 (G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K), plus the additional mutation D118G which had been made to all 7 monomers. MspA mutant 20 had seven monomers which had the following mutations in common with MspA 1 G75S/G77S/L88N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K plus the additional mutations D90Q and D93N which had been made to all 7 monomers. Mutants 19 and 20 were also hetero-oligomeric nanopores and, therefore, contained a single monomer which was different from the other seven monomers and had different mutations from MspA 1. MspA mutants 19 and 20 exhibited an improvement in at least one of the measured parameters (average noise of the signal, average current range and average signal to noise) when compared to MspA mutant 1. However, the increased average current range or increased average signal to noise associated with the movement of construct X through the MspA mutant nanopore was attributed to the combination of changes made to the nanopores (MspA mutant 19 and 20) e.g. for MspA mutants 19 and 20 the improvements were owing to both the differing mutations in seven of the subunits and the single monomer which was different from the other seven monomers.

Pore ID's



[0346] MspA mutant 1 = MspA - (G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K)8 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with mutations in all eight monomers G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K). MspA mutant 2 = MspA-(G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7 (G75S/G77S/L88N/D91N/D93N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers of G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K and mutations in one monomer of G75S/G77S/L88N/D91N/D93N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus).

[0347] MspA mutant 3 = MspA-(G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7(G75S/G77S/L88N/D91N/D1 18R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers of G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K and mutations in one monomer of G75S/G77S/L88N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus).

[0348] MspA mutant 4 = MspA-(G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7(G75S/G77S/L88N/D91N/N1 08D/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers of G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K and mutations in one monomer of G75S/G77S/L88N/D91N/N108D/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus).

[0349] MspA mutant 5 = MspA-(G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7(G75S/G77S/L88N/D90H/D9 1N/D93N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers of G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K and mutations in one monomer of G75S/G77S/L88N/D90H/D91N/D93N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus).

[0350] MspA mutant 6 = MspA-(G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7(G75S/G77S/L88N/D90R/D9 1N/D93N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers of G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K and mutations in one monomer of G75S/G77S/L88N/D90R/D91N/D93N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus).

[0351] MspA mutant 7 = MspA-(G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7(G75S/G77S/L88N/D90E/D9 1N/D93N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers of G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K and mutations in one monomer of G75S/G77S/L88N/D90E/D91N/D93N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus). MspA mutant 8 = MspA-(G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7(G75S/G77S/L88D/D91N/D1 18R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers of G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K and mutations in one monomer of G75S/G77S/L88D/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus).

[0352] MspA mutant 9 = MspA-(G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7(G75S/G77S/L88D/D90N/D9 1N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers of G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K and mutations in one monomer of

[0353] G75S/G77S/L88D/D90N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus).

[0354] MspA mutant 10 = MspA-(G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7(G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D9 1N/S103D/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers of G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K and mutations in one monomer of G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/S103D/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139KBasTL where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus).

[0355] MspA mutant 11 = MspA-(G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7(G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D9 1N/I105D/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers of G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K and mutations in one monomer of G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/I105D/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus).

[0356] MspA mutant 12 = MspA-(G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7(G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D9 1N/S114E/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers of G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K and mutations in one monomer of G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/S114E/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus).

[0357] MspA mutant 13 = MspA-(G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/N108P/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7(G75S/G77S/L88N/D 91N/N108P/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers of G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/N108P/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K and mutations in one monomer of G75S/G77S/L88N/D91N/N108P/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus).

[0358] MspA mutant 14 = MspA-(D56N/E59R/G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7(G75S/G77S/L8 8N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers of D56N/E59R/G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K and mutations in one monomer of G75S/G77S/L88N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus).

[0359] MspA mutant 15 = MspA-(D56N/E59R/G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7(D56N/E59R/G7 5S/G77S/L88N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers of D56N/E59R/G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K and mutations in one monomer of D56N/E59R/G75S/G77S/L88N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus).

[0360] MspA mutant 16 = MspA-(G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/N102G/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7(G75S/G77S/L88N/D 91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers of G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/N102G/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K and mutations in one monomer of G75S/G77S/L88N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus).

[0361] MspA mutant 17 = MspA-(G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/N102G/N108P/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7(G75S/G77S/ L88N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers of G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/N102G/N108P/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K and mutations in one monomer of G75S/G77S/L88N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus).

[0362] MspA mutant 18 = MspA-(G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/S103A/N108P/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7(G75S/G77S/L 88N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers of G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/S103A/N108P/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K and mutations in one monomer of G75S/G77S/L88N/D91N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus).

[0363] MspA mutant 19 = MspA-(G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D118G/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7(G75S/G77S/L88N/D91N/D1 18G/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers of G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D118G/Q126R/D134R/E139K and mutations in one monomer of G75S/G77S/L88N/D91N/D118G/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus).

[0364] MspA mutant 20 = MspA-(G75S/G77S/L88N/D90Q/D91N/D93N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7(G75S/G77S/L88N/D9 1N/D93N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers of G75S/G77S/L88N/D90Q/D91N/D93N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K and mutations in one monomer of G75S/G77S/L88N/D91N/D93N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus).

[0365] MspA mutant 21 = MspA-(G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D93N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7(G75S/G77S/L88N/D9 0S/D91N/D93N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers of G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D93N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K and mutations in one monomer of G75S/G77S/L88N/D90S/D91N/D93N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus).

[0366] MspA mutant 22 = MspA-(G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D93N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7(G75S/G77S/L88N/D9 0F/D91N/D93N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers of G75S/G77S/L88N/D90N/D91N/D93N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K and mutations in one monomer of G75S/G77S/L88N/D90F/D91N/D93N/D118R/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus).
Table 4
Pore IDMean Noise of the SignalMedian Noise of the SignalStandard Deviation of the Noise of the SignalMean Current Range (pA)Median Current Range (pA)Standard Deviation of the Current RangeAverage Signal to Noise (S2N)
1 1.35 1.35 0.14 15.48 15.78 2.23 11.47
2 2.61 2.62 0.23 30.35 30.47 2.11 11.63
3 3.35 2.97 1.08 30.64 29.32 5.95 9.15
4 2.35 2.33 0.23 29.11 28.83 2.76 12.39
5 3.50 3.45 0.64 18.92 19.23 3.68 5.41
6 3.14 3.05 0.69 23.88 24.45 8.11 7.61
7 1.73 1.71 0.18 19.63 19.33 1.57 11.35
8 2.53 2.45 0.43 29.49 30.22 3.96 11.66
9 2.11 2.11 0.24 20.19 20.27 2.53 9.57
10 2.30 2.24 0.42 20.56 20.43 2.50 8.94
11 2.53 2.35 0.70 24.14 23.87 2.42 9.54
12 1.90 1.84 0.34 20.34 20.24 2.72 10.71
13 3.31 2.82 1.87 28.80 29.12 4.22 8.70
14 2.72 2.67 0.33 30.61 30.38 2.28 11.25
15 2.61 2.59 0.32 30.32 30.44 2.49 11.62
16 2.59 2.56 0.28 28.92 28.86 3.94 11.17
17 2.59 2.55 0.21 27.88 27.73 2.54 10.76
18 2.75 2.72 0.30 25.46 25.21 1.98 9.26
19 3.86 3.10 2.08 30.37 29.65 3.77 7.87
20 2.24 2.18 0.36 17.18 16.87 3.05 7.67
21 1.92 1.84 0.41 19.22 18.75 3.63 10.01
22 2.47 2.45 0.25 20.11 19.89 3.14 8.14


[0367] In table 5 below, MspA mutant 24 (which contained one monomer of the nanopore that was different from the rest of the monomers in the pore as it had a BasTL sequence attached) was compared to MspA mutant 23 (baseline, which was a homo-oligomeric MspA nanopore). MspA mutant 24 had eight monomers which had the same mutations and deletions as MspA 23 ((Del-L74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K) but one monomer differed from MspA mutant 23 in the fact that it had a BasTL sequence attached to the C-terminus. Of the various parameters which were investigated and measured - average noise of the signal, average current range and average signal to noise, MspA mutants 23 and 24 exhibited similar values for each of these parameters. Therefore, it was clear that the BasTL sequence did not result in increased current range or increased signal to noise associated with the movement of construct X through the MspA mutant nanopores (e.g. either increased current range or higher average signal to noise).

[0368] In table 5 below, MspA mutants 25-32 (which contained one monomer of the nanopore that was different from the rest of the monomers in the pore) were compared to MspA mutant 24 (baseline, which was a hetero-oligomeric nanopore because it contained a single BasTL sequence attached to one of the monomers). MspA mutants 25-32 all had seven monomers which had the same mutations and deletions as MspA 24 ((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K)) but they differed from MspA mutant 24 in the fact that they had an 8th monomer which was different from the mutations in MspA 24. Of the various parameters which were investigated and measured - average noise of the signal, average current range and average signal to noise, MspA mutants 25-32 exhibited an improvement in at least one of these parameters when compared to the baseline nanopore MspA mutant 24. Therefore, the hetero-oligomeric nanopores resulted in increased average current range or increased average signal to noise associated with the movement of construct X through the MspA mutant nanopores (e.g. either increased current range or higher average signal to noise).

[0369] In table 5 below, a number of MspA mutants 33, 34, 36-38, 40 and 42-44 were compared to MspA mutant 24 (baseline). MspA mutants 33, 34, 36-38, 40 and 42-44 had seven monomers which all had the same mutations and deletions as MspA 24 ((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K)), plus some additional mutations which had been made to all 7 monomers which were different from MspA mutant 24. As for mutants 25-32, mutants 33, 34, 36-38, 40 and 42-44 were also all hetero-oligomeric nanopores and contained a single monomer which was different from the other seven monomers and had different mutations from MspA 24. MspA mutants 33, 34, 36-38, 40 and 42-44 exhibited an improvement in at least one of the measured parameters (average noise of the signal, average current range and average signal to noise) when compared to MspA mutant 24. However, the increased average current range or increased average signal to noise associated with the movement of construct X through the MspA mutant nanopore was attributed to the combination of changes made to the nanopores (MspA mutants 33, 34, 36-38, 40 and 42-44) e.g. for MspA mutants 33, 34, 36-38, 40 and 42-44 the improvements were owing to both the additional mutations in seven of the subunits and the single monomer which is different from the other seven monomers.

[0370] In table 5 below, an MspA mutant 35, 39 and 41 were compared to MspA mutant 24 (baseline). MspA mutants 35 had seven monomers which had the following mutations in common with MspA 24 ((Del-L74/G75/D118/L119) E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K), plus the additional mutations N56W, A96D and N108P which had been made to all 7 monomers. MspA mutant 39 had seven monomers which had the following mutations in common with MspA 1 ((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K) plus the additional mutations D56F had been made to all 7 monomers. MspA mutant 39 had seven monomers which had the following mutations in common with MspA 1 ((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K) plus the additional mutations D56F and N108P which had been made to all 7 monomers. Mutants 35, 39 and 41 were also hetero-oligomeric nanopores and, therefore, contained a single monomer which was different from the other seven monomers and had different mutations from MspA 1. MspA mutants 35, 39 and 41 exhibited an improvement in at least one of the measured parameters (average noise of the signal, average current range and average signal to noise) when compared to MspA mutant 1. However, the increased average current range or increased average signal to noise associated with the movement of construct X through the MspA mutant nanopore was attributed to the combination of changes made to the nanopores (MspA mutant 35, 39 and 41) e.g. for MspA mutants 35, 39 and 41 the improvements were owing to both the differing mutations in seven of the subunits and the single monomer which was different from the other seven monomers.

Pore ID's



[0371] MspA mutant 23 = MspA - ((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K)8 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with mutations in all eight monomers D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K and deletion of the amino acids L74/G75/D118/L119 in all eight monomer).

[0372] MspA mutant 24 = MspA - ((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K and deletion, of the following amino acids in seven monomers L74/G75/D118/L119 and the following mutations in one monomer of D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL, where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus, and deletions of the following amino acids in one monomer of L74/G75/D118/L119).

[0373] MspA mutant 25 = MspA - ((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K and deletion, of the following amino acids in seven monomers L74/G75/D118/L119 and the following mutations in one monomer of D56N/E59R/L88N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL, where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus, and deletions of the following amino acids in one monomer of L74/G75/D118/L119).

[0374] MspA mutant 26 = MspA - ((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88D/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K and deletion, of the following amino acids in seven monomers L74/G75/D118/L119 and the following mutations in one monomer of D56N/E59R/L88D/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL, where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus, and deletions of the following amino acids in one monomer of L74/G75/D118/L119).

[0375] MspA mutant 27 = MspA - ((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D91G/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K and deletion, of the following amino acids in seven monomers L74/G75/D118/L119 and the following mutations in one monomer of D56N/E59R/L88N/D91G/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL, where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus, and deletions of the following amino acids in one monomer of L74/G75/D118/L119).

[0376] MspA mutant 28 = MspA - ((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D91P/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K and deletion, of the following amino acids in seven monomers L74/G75/D118/L119 and the following mutations in one monomer of D56N/E59R/L88N/D91P/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL, where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus, and deletions of the following amino acids in one monomer of L74/G75/D118/L119).

[0377] MspA mutant 29 = MspA - ((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D91S/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K and deletion, of the following amino acids in seven monomers L74/G75/D118/L119 and the following mutations in one monomer of D56N/E59R/L88N/D91S/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL, where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus, and deletions of the following amino acids in one monomer of L74/G75/D118/L119).

[0378] MspA mutant 30 = MspA - ((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D91A/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K and deletion, of the following amino acids in seven monomers L74/G75/D118/L119 and the following mutations in one monomer of D56N/E59R/L88N/D91A/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL, where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus, and deletions of the following amino acids in one monomer of L74/G75/D118/L119).

[0379] MspA mutant 31 = MspA - ((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D91Q/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K and deletion, of the following amino acids in seven monomers L74/G75/D118/L119 and the following mutations in one monomer of D56N/E59R/L88N/D91Q/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL, where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus, and deletions of the following amino acids in one monomer of L74/G75/D118/L119).

[0380] MspA mutant 32 = MspA - ((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88D/D90N/D91N/I105D/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL) 1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K and deletion, of the following amino acids in seven monomers L74/G75/D118/L119 and the following mutations in one monomer of D56N/E59R/L88D/D90N/D91N/I105D/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL, where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus, and deletions of the following amino acids in one monomer of L74/G75/D118/L119).

[0381] MspA mutant 33 = MspA - ((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D91N/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers

[0382] D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K and deletion, of the following amino acids in seven monomers L74/G75/D118/L119 and the following mutations in one monomer of D56N/E59R/L88N/D91N/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL, where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus, and deletions of the following amino acids in one monomer of L74/G75/D118/L119).

[0383] MspA mutant 34 = MspA - ((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/A96D/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7(( DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D91N/A96D/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/A96D/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K and deletion, of the following amino acids in seven monomers L74/G75/D118/L119 and the following mutations in one monomer of D56N/E59R/L88N/D91N/A96D/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL, where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus, and deletions of the following amino acids in one monomer of L74/G75/D118/L119).

[0384] MspA mutant 35 = MspA - ((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56W/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/A96D/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7(( DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56W/E59R/L88N/D91N/A96D/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers D56W/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/A96D/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K and deletion, of the following amino acids in seven monomers L74/G75/D118/L119 and the following mutations in one monomer of D56W/E59R/L88N/D91N/A96D/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL, where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus, and deletions of the following amino acids in one monomer of L74/G75/D118/L119).

[0385] MspA mutant 36 = MspA - ((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/I89P/D91N/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL) 1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K and deletion, of the following amino acids in seven monomers L74/G75/D118/L119 and the following mutations in one monomer of D56N/E59R/L88N/I89P/D91N/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL, where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus, and deletions of the following amino acids in one monomer of L74/G75/D118/L119).

[0386] MspA mutant 37 = MspA - ((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/A96D/Q126R/D134R/E13 9K)7((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88D/D91N/A96D/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/A96D/Q126R/D134R/E139K and deletion, of the following amino acids in seven monomers L74/G75/D118/L119 and the following mutations in one monomer of D56N/E59R/L88D/D91N/A96D/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL, where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus, and deletions of the following amino acids in one monomer of L74/G75/D118/L119).

[0387] MspA mutant 38 = MspA - ((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/A96D/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D91G/A96D/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/A96D/Q126R/D134R/E139K and deletion, of the following amino acids in seven monomers L74/G75/D118/L119 and the following mutations in one monomer of D56N/E59R/L88N/D91G/A96D/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL, where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus, and deletions of the following amino acids in one monomer of L74/G75/D118/L119).

[0388] MspA mutant 39 = MspA - ((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56F/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56F/E59R/L88N/D91G/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers D56F/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/Q126R/D134R/E139K and deletion, of the following amino acids in seven monomers L74/G75/D118/L119 and the following mutations in one monomer of D56F/E59R/L88N/D91G/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL, where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus, and deletions of the following amino acids in one monomer of L74/G75/D118/L119).

[0389] MspA mutant 40 = MspA - ((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D91G/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1(SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K and deletion, of the following amino acids in seven monomers L74/G75/D118/L119 and the following mutations in one monomer of D56N/E59R/L88N/D91G/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL, where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus, and deletions of the following amino acids in one monomer of L74/G75/D118/L119).

[0390] MspA mutant 41 = MspA - ((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56F/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56F/E59R/L88N/D91G/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers D56F/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K and deletion, of the following amino acids in seven monomers L74/G75/D118/L119 and the following mutations in one monomer of D56F/E59R/L88N/D91G/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL, where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus, and deletions of the following amino acids in one monomer of L74/G75/D118/L119).

[0391] MspA mutant 42 = MspA - ((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88P/D91G/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K and deletion, of the following amino acids in seven monomers L74/G75/D118/L119 and the following mutations in one monomer of D56N/E59R/L88P/D91G/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL, where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus, and deletions of the following amino acids in one monomer of L74/G75/D118/L119).

[0392] MspA mutant 43 = MspA - ((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/I89P/D91G/Nl08P/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K and deletion, of the following amino acids in seven monomers L74/G75/D118/L119 and the following mutations in one monomer of D56N/E59R/L88N/I89P/D91G/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL, where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus, and deletions of the following amino acids in one monomer ofL74/G75/D118/L119).

[0393] MspA mutant 44 - MspA - MspA - ((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K)7((DelL74/G75/D118/L119)D56N/E59R/L88N/D91Q/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL)1 (SEQ ID NO: 2 with the following mutations in seven monomers D56N/E59R/L88N/D90N/D91N/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K and deletion, of the following amino acids in seven monomers L74/G75/D118/L119 and the following mutations in one monomer of D56N/E59R/L88N/D91Q/N108P/Q126R/D134R/E139K/BasTL, where the BasTL has SEQ ID NO: 26 and is attached at the C-terminus, and deletions of the following amino acids in one monomer of L74/G75/D118/L119).
Table 5
Pore IDMean Noise of the SignalMedian Noise of the SignalStandard Deviation of the Noise of the SignalMean Current Range (pA)Median Current Range (pA)Standard Deviation of the Current RangeAverage Signal to Noise (S2N)
23 1.22 1.17 0.20 15.31 15.32 1.66 12.55
24 1.00 0.95 0.15 13.38 13.32 0.94 13.38
25 2.29 2.22 0.24 30.75 30.93 2.18 13.43
26 2.28 2.22 0.35 32.75 32.99 2.98 14.36
27 2.52 2.47 0.26 40.09 40.04 2.34 15.91
28 2.27 2.27 0.32 27.21 27.14 1.64 11.99
29 2.70 2.62 0.43 35.46 35.83 3.42 13.13
30 2.77 2.74 0.26 37.89 37.60 3.66 13.68
31 2.46 2.42 0.21 47.25 47.03 2.29 19.21
32 1.40 1.38 0.09 15.09 14.95 0.86 10.78
33 2.13 2.12 0.18 28.96 28.87 3.06 13.60
34 2.22 2.18 0.25 29.87 29.83 1.72 13.45
35 2.88 2.89 0.27 30.74 30.54 1.62 10.67
36 1.78 1.76 0.14 28.39 28.20 1.76 15.95
37 2.19 2.14 0.27 32.63 32.67 2.34 14.90
38 2.74 2.72 0.30 42.89 42.18 3.02 15.65
39 2.97 2.94 0.23 40.74 40.85 1.65 13.72
40 2.23 2.19 0.23 38.23 38.13 1.95 17.14
41 2.79 2.62 0.74 39.36 39.23 2.47 14.11
42 2.08 2.04 0.20 36.46 36.31 1.91 17.53
43 2.04 2.00 0.19 36.49 36.36 1.83 17.89
44 2.23 2.22 0.17 48.39 48.48 2.46 21.70


[0394] Example helicase controlled DNA movements for a number of the MspA hetero-oligomeric nanopores are shown in figures 2, 3 and 4 (A = MspA nanopore 25, B = MspA nanopore 33, C = MspA nanopore 27, D = MspA nanopore 40, E = MspA nanopore 31 and F = MspA nanopore 41, G = MspA nanopore 44). As was clear from the figures, the same region of sequence of construct X produced different current levels when it translocated through the various MspA nanopores.

SEQUENCE LISTING



[0395] 

<110> Oxford Nanopore Technologies Limited

<120> Hetero-Pores

<130> N404299WO

<150> GB1502809.5
<151> 2015-02-19

<160> 31

<170> PatentIn version 3.5

<210> 1
<211> 558
<212> DNA
<213> Mycobacterium smegmatis

<400> 1

<210> 2
<211> 184
<212> PRT
<213> Mycobacterium smegmatis

<400> 2



<210> 3
<211> 51
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> The amino acids 83 to 111 of the mature form of wild-type MspA monomer (lacking the signal sequence).

<400> 3

<210> 4
<211> 49
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> An artificail amino acid sequence for comparison with amino acids 83 to 111 of the mature form of the wild-type MspA monomer (lacking the signal sequence).

<400> 4

<210> 5
<211> 184
<212> PRT
<213> Mycobacterium smegmatis

<400> 5



<210> 6
<211> 184
<212> PRT
<213> Mycobacterium smegmatis

<400> 6



<210> 7
<211> 183
<212> PRT
<213> Mycobacterium smegmatis

<400> 7

<210> 8
<211> 1830
<212> DNA
<213> Bacillus subtilis phage phi29

<400> 8



<210> 9
<211> 608
<212> PRT
<213> Bacillus subtilis phage phi29

<400> 9





<210> 10
<211> 1390
<212> DNA
<213> Escherichia coli

<400> 10



<210> 11
<211> 485
<212> PRT
<213> Escherichia coli

<400> 11





<210> 12
<211> 804
<212> DNA
<213> Escherichia coli

<400> 12



<210> 13
<211> 268
<212> PRT
<213> Escherichia coli

<400> 13



<210> 14
<211> 1275
<212> DNA
<213> Thermus thermophilus

<400> 14



<210> 15
<211> 425
<212> PRT
<213> Thermus thermophilus

<400> 15



<210> 16
<211> 738
<212> DNA
<213> Bacteriophage lambda

<400> 16

<210> 17
<211> 226
<212> PRT
<213> Bacteriophage lambda

<400> 17



<210> 18
<211> 760
<212> PRT
<213> Methanococcoides burtonii

<400> 18







<210> 19
<211> 707
<212> PRT
<213> Cenarchaeum symbiosum

<400> 19







<210> 20
<211> 720
<212> PRT
<213> Thermococcus gammatolerans

<400> 20







<210> 21
<211> 799
<212> PRT
<213> Methanospirillum hungatei

<400> 21







<210> 22
<211> 1756
<212> PRT
<213> Escherichia coli

<400> 22















<210> 23
<211> 726
<212> PRT
<213> Methanococcoides burtonii

<400> 23







<210> 24
<211> 439
<212> PRT
<213> Enterobacteria phage T4

<400> 24





<210> 25
<211> 970
<212> PRT
<213> Clostridium botulinum

<400> 25









<210> 26
<211> 94
<212> PRT
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> Amino acid sequence of BasTL.

<400> 26

<210> 27
<211> 12
<212> DNA
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> Polynucleotide sequence used in Example 1.

<400> 27
tttttttttt tt 12

<210> 28
<211> 27
<212> DNA
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> Polynucleotide sequence used in Example 1.

<400> 28
ggttgtttct gttggtgctg atattgc 27

<210> 29
<211> 3635
<212> DNA
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> Polynucleotide sequence used in Example 1.

<400> 29





<210> 30
<211> 3636
<212> DNA
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> Polynucleotide sequence used in Example 1.

<400> 30





<210> 31
<211> 28
<212> DNA
<213> Artificial Sequence

<220>
<223> Polynucleotide sequence used in Example 1.

<400> 31
gcaatatcag caccaacaga aacaacct 28




Claims

1. A hetero-oligomeric pore derived from a Mycobacterium smegmatis porin, which comprises a narrowing having a net negative charge; wherein the pore comprises monomers from MspA, MspB, MspC and/or MspD; wherein one of the monomers in the pore differs from the rest of the monomers in the pore; and wherein the pore is capable of characterising polynucleotides.
 
2. A hetero-oligomeric pore according to claim 1, wherein the narrowing comprises one, two, three or four negatively charged amino acids, optionally wherein the remaining amino acids in the narrowing are not charged.
 
3. A hetero-oligomeric pore according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the pore comprises eight monomers each comprising the sequence shown in SEQ ID NO: 2 or a pore-forming variant thereof and wherein the narrowing comprises the residues in each monomer which correspond to (a) positions 83 to 111 of SEQ ID NO: 2 or (b) positions 88, 90, 91, 92, 93, 102, 103 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2.
 
4. A hetero-oligomeric pore according to claim 3, wherein one monomer differs from the rest of the monomers by comprising a negatively charged amino acid at one or more of the positions which correspond to positions 88, 90, 91, 92, 93, 102, 103 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2.
 
5. A hetero-oligomeric pore according to claim 4, wherein one monomer differs from the rest of the monomers by comprising

a) a negatively charged amino acid at one or more of the positions which correspond to positions 90, 91, 93 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2; or

b) a negatively charged amino acid at the position(s) which correspond(s) to position(s) (i) 90; (ii) 91; (iii) 93; (iii) 90 and 91; (iv) 90 and 93; (v) 91 and 93; (vi) 105; (vii) 90 and 105; or (viii) 90, 91 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2.


 
6. A hetero-oligomeric pore according to any one of claims 3 to 5, wherein one monomer differs from the rest of the monomers by comprising a negatively charged amino acid at the position(s) which correspond(s) to position(s) 90 and/or 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2.
 
7. A hetero-oligomeric pore according to any one of claims 3 to 6, wherein the negatively charged amino acid is aspartic acid (D) or glutamic acid (E).
 
8. A hetero-oligomeric pore according to any one of claims 3 to 7, wherein the rest of the monomers comprise an amino acid which is not charged at the position(s) which correspond(s) to position(s) 90 and/or 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2.
 
9. A hetero-oligomeric pore according to any one of claims 3 to 8, wherein:

(a) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the position which corresponds to position 90 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an asparagine (N) at the position which corresponds to position 90 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(b) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the position which corresponds to position 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the remaining monomers comprise an asparagine (N) at the position which corresponds to position 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(c) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an asparagine (N) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(d) one monomer comprises a glutamic acid (E) at the position which corresponds to position 90 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an asparagine (N) at the position which corresponds to position 90 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(e) one monomer comprises a glutamic acid (E) at the position which corresponds to position 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an asparagine (N) at the position which corresponds to position 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(f) one monomer comprises an glutamic acid (E) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an asparagine (N) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(g) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the position which corresponds to position 90 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise a glutamine (Q) at the position which corresponds to position 90 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(h) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the position which corresponds to position 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the remaining monomers comprise a glutamine (Q) at the position which corresponds to position 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(i) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise a glutamine (Q) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(j) one monomer comprises a glutamic acid (E) at the position which corresponds to position 90 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise a glutamine (Q) at the position which corresponds to position 90 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(k) one monomer comprises a glutamic acid (E) at the position which corresponds to position 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise a glutamine (Q) at the position which corresponds to position 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(l) one monomer comprises an glutamic acid (E) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise a glutamine (Q) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 91 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(m) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the position which corresponds to position 88 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an asparagine (N) at the position which corresponds to position 88 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(n) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the position which corresponds to position 88 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise a glutamine (Q) at the position which corresponds to position 88 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(o) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the position which corresponds to position 103 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise a serine (S) at the position which corresponds to position 103 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(p) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the position which corresponds to position 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an isoleucine (I) at the position which corresponds to position 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(q) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the positions which correspond to positions 88 and 90 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an asparagine (N) at the positions which correspond to positions 88 and 90 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(r) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the positions which correspond to positions 88 and 90 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise a glutamine (Q) at the positions which correspond to positions 88 and 90 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(s) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 103 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an asparagine (N) and serine (S) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 103 of SEQ ID NO: 2 respectively;

(t) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 103 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise a glutamine (Q) and serine (S) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 103 of SEQ ID NO: 2 respectively;

(u) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an asparagine (N) and isoleucine (I) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2 respectively;

(v) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise a glutamine (Q) and isoleucine (I) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2 respectively;

(w) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an asparagine (N) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(x) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise a glutamine (Q) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(y) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the positions which correspond to positions 91 and 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an asparagine (N) at the positions which correspond to positions 91 and 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(z) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the positions which correspond to positions 91 and 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise a glutamine (Q) at the positions which correspond to positions 91 and 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(aa) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the position which corresponds to position 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an asparagine (N) at the position which corresponds to position 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(ab) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the position which corresponds to position 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise a glutamine (Q) at the position which corresponds to position 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(ac) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the position which corresponds to position 90 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an aspartic acid (D) at the position which corresponds to position 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(ad) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the positions which correspond to positions 90 and 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an aspartic acid (D) at the position which corresponds to position 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(ae) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the positions which correspond to positions 91 and 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an aspartic acid (D) at the position which corresponds to position 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(af) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the position which corresponds to position 90 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an aspartic acid (D) at the position which corresponds to position 93 of SEQ ID NO: 2;

(ag) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the positions which correspond to positions 88 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise an asparagine (N) and isoleucine (I) at the positions which correspond to positions 88 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2 respectively; or

(ah) one monomer comprises an aspartic acid (D) at the positions which correspond to positions 88 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2 and the rest of the monomers comprise a glutamine (Q) and isoleucine (I) at the positions which correspond to positions 88 and 105 of SEQ ID NO: 2 respectively.


 
10. A hetero-oligomeric pore according to any one of claims 3 to 9, wherein the or each variant of SEQ ID NO: 2 comprises a mutation or substitution at one or more of the positions which correspond to positions G75, G77, L88, D118, Q126, D134 and E139 of SEQ ID NO: 2.
 
11. A hetero-oligomeric pore according to any one of claims 3 to 10, wherein the or each variant of SEQ ID NO: 2 comprises proline (P) at the position which corresponds to position 108 in SEQ ID NO: 2.
 
12. A hetero-oligomeric pore according to any one of claims 3 to 11, wherein in the or each variant of SEQ ID NO: 2 (a) 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 of the residues which correspond to positions 72 to 82 of SEQ ID NO: 2 have been deleted and (b) 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 of the residues which correspond to positions 111 to 121 of SEQ ID NO: 2 have been deleted.
 
13. A hetero-oligomeric pore according to any one of claims 3 to 12, wherein all of the monomers in the pore comprise a variant of SEQ ID NO: 2.
 
14. A method of characterising a target polynucleotide, comprising:

a) contacting the polynucleotide with a hetero-oligomeric pore according to any one of claims 1 to 13 such that the polynucleotide moves through the pore; and

b) taking one or more measurements as the polynucleotide moves with respect to the pore, wherein the measurements are indicative of one or more characteristics of the polynucleotide, and thereby characterising the target polynucleotide.


 


Ansprüche

1. Heterooligomere Pore, die von einem Mycobacterium smegmatis-Porin abstammt, die eine Verengung umfasst, die eine negative Nettoladung aufweist; wobei die Pore Monomere von MspA, MspB, MspC und/oder MspD umfasst; wobei sich eines der Monomere in der Pore von dem Rest der Monomere in der Pore unterscheidet; und wobei die Pore in der Lage ist, Polynukleotide zu charakterisieren.
 
2. Heterooligomere Pore nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Verengung eine, zwei, drei oder vier negativ geladene Aminosäuren umfasst, optional wobei die verbleibenden Aminosäuren in der Verengung nicht geladen sind.
 
3. Heterooligomere Pore nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, wobei die Pore acht Monomere umfasst, die jeweils die in SEQ ID NO: 2 gezeigte Sequenz oder eine porenausbildende Variante davon umfassen, und wobei die Verengung die Rückstände in jedem Monomer umfasst, die (a) den Positionen 83 bis 111 von SEQ ID NO: 2 oder (b) den Positionen 88, 90, 91, 92, 93, 102, 103 und 105 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen.
 
4. Heterooligomere Pore nach Anspruch 3, wobei sich ein Monomer von dem Rest der Monomere durch ein Umfassen einer negativ geladenen Aminosäure an einer oder mehreren der Positionen unterscheidet, die den Positionen 88, 90, 91, 92, 93, 102, 103 und 105 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen.
 
5. Heterooligomere Pore nach Anspruch 4, wobei sich ein Monomer von dem Rest der Monomere dadurch unterscheidet, dass es Folgendes umfasst:

a) eine negativ geladene Aminosäure an einer oder mehreren der Positionen, die den Positionen 90, 91, 93 und 105 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen; oder

b) eine negativ geladene Aminosäure an der/den Position(en), die der/den Position(en) (i) 90; (ii) 91; (iii) 93; (iii) 90 und 91; (iv) 90 und 93; (v) 91 und 93; (vi) 105; (vii) 90 und 105; oder (viii) 90, 91 und 105 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht/entsprechen.


 
6. Heterooligomere Pore nach einem der Ansprüche 3 bis 5, wobei sich ein Monomer von dem Rest der Monomere durch das Umfassen einer negativ geladenen Aminosäure an der/den Position(en) umfasst, die der/den Position(en) 90 und/oder 91 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht/entsprechen.
 
7. Heterooligomere Pore nach einem der Ansprüche 3 bis 6, wobei die negativ geladene Aminosäure Asparaginsäure (D) oder Glutaminsäure (E) ist.
 
8. Heterooligomere Pore nach einem der Ansprüche 3 bis 7, wobei der Rest der Monomere eine Aminosäure, die nicht geladen ist, an der/den Position(en) umfasst, die der/den Position(en) 90 und/oder 91 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht/entsprechen.
 
9. Heterooligomere Pore nach einem der Ansprüche 3 bis 8, wobei:

(a) ein Monomer eine Asparaginsäure (D) an der Position umfasst, die der Position 90 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht, und der Rest der Monomere ein Asparagin (N) an der Position umfasst, die der Position 90 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht;

(b) ein Monomer eine Asparaginsäure (D) an der Position umfasst, die der Position 91 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht, und die verbleibenden Monomere ein Asparagin (N) an der Position umfassen, die der Position 91 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen;

(c) ein Monomer eine Asparaginsäure (D) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 90 und 91 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen, und der Rest der Monomere ein Asparagin (N) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 90 und 91 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen;

(d) ein Monomer eine Glutaminsäure (E) an der Position umfasst, die der Position 90 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht, und der Rest der Monomere ein Asparagin (N) an der Position umfasst, die der Position 90 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht;

(e) ein Monomer eine Glutaminsäure (E) an der Position umfasst, die der Position 91 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht, und der Rest der Monomere ein Asparagin (N) an der Position umfasst, die der Position 91 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht;

(f) ein Monomer eine Glutaminsäure (E) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 90 und 91 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen, und der Rest der Monomere ein Asparagin (N) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 90 und 91 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen;

(g) ein Monomer eine Asparaginsäure (D) an der Position umfasst, die der Position 90 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht, und der Rest der Monomere ein Glutamin (Q) an der Position umfasst, die der Position 90 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht;

(h) ein Monomer eine Asparaginsäure (D) an der Position umfasst, die der Position 91 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht, und die verbleibenden Monomere ein Glutamin (Q) an der Position umfassen, die der Position 91 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht;

(i) ein Monomer eine Asparaginsäure (D) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 90 und 91 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen, und der Rest der Monomere ein Glutamin (Q) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 90 und 91 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen;

(j) ein Monomer eine Glutaminsäure (E) an der Position umfasst, die der Position 90 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht, und der Rest der Monomere ein Glutamin (Q) an der Position umfasst, die der Position 90 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht;

(k) ein Monomer eine Glutaminsäure (E) an der Position umfasst, die der Position 91 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht, und der Rest der Monomere ein Glutamin (Q) an der Position umfasst, die der Position 91 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht;

(l) ein Monomer eine Glutaminsäure (E) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 90 und 91 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen, und der Rest der Monomere ein Glutamin (Q) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 90 und 91 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen;

(m) ein Monomer eine Asparaginsäure (D) an der Position umfasst, die der Position 88 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht, und der Rest der Monomere ein Asparagin (N) an der Position umfasst, die der Position 88 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht;

(n) ein Monomer eine Asparaginsäure (D) an der Position umfasst, die der Position 88 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht, und der Rest der Monomere ein Glutamin (Q) an der Position umfasst, die der Position 88 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht;

(o) ein Monomer eine Asparaginsäure (D) an der Position umfasst, die der Position 103 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht, und der Rest der Monomere ein Serin (S) an der Position umfasst, die der Position 103 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht;

(p) ein Monomer eine Asparaginsäure (D) an der Position umfasst, die der Position 105 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht, und der Rest der Monomere ein Isoleucin (I) an der Position umfasst, die der Position 105 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht;

(q) ein Monomer eine Asparaginsäure (D) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 88 und 90 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen, und der Rest der Monomere ein Asparagin (N) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 88 und 90 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen;

(r) ein Monomer eine Asparaginsäure (D) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 88 und 90 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen, und der Rest der Monomere ein Glutamin (Q) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 88 und 90 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen;

(s) ein Monomer eine Asparaginsäure (D) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 90 und 103 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen, und der Rest der Monomere ein Asparagin (N) und ein Serin (S) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 90 beziehungsweise 103 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen;

(t) ein Monomer eine Asparaginsäure (D) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 90 und 103 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen, und der Rest der Monomere ein Glutamin (Q) und ein Serin (S) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 90 beziehungsweise 103 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen;

(u) ein Monomer eine Asparaginsäure (D) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 90 und 105 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen, und der Rest der Monomere ein Asparagin (N) und ein Isoleucin (I) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 90 beziehungsweise 105 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen;

(v) ein Monomer eine Asparaginsäure (D) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 90 und 105 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen, und der Rest der Monomere ein Glutamin (Q) und ein Isoleucin (I) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 90 beziehungsweise 105 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen;

(w) ein Monomer eine Asparaginsäure (D) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 90 und 93 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen, und der Rest der Monomere ein Asparagin (N) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 90 und 93 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen;

(x) ein Monomer eine Asparaginsäure (D) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 90 und 93 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen, und der Rest der Monomere ein Glutamin (Q) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 90 und 93 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen;

(y) ein Monomer eine Asparaginsäure (D) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 91 und 93 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen, und der Rest der Monomere ein Asparagin (N) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 91 und 93 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen;

(z) ein Monomer eine Asparaginsäure (D) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 91 und 93 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen, und der Rest der Monomere ein Glutamin (Q) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 91 und 93 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen;

(aa) ein Monomer eine Asparaginsäure (D) an der Position umfasst, die der Position 93 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht, und der Rest der Monomere ein Asparagin (N) an der Position umfasst, die der Position 93 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht;

(ab) ein Monomer eine Asparaginsäure (D) an der Position umfasst, die der Position 93 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht, und der Rest der Monomere ein Glutamin (Q) an der Position umfasst, die der Position 93 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht;

(ac) ein Monomer eine Asparaginsäure (D) an der Position umfasst, die der Position 90 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht, und der Rest der Monomere eine Asparaginsäure (D) an der Position umfasst, die der Position 93 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht;

(ad) ein Monomer eine Asparaginsäure (D) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 90 und 93 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen, und der Rest der Monomere eine Asparaginsäure (D) an der Position umfasst, die der Position 93 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht;

(ae) ein Monomer eine Asparaginsäure (D) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 91 und 93 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen, und der Rest der Monomere eine Asparaginsäure (D) an der Position umfasst, die der Position 93 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht;

(af) ein Monomer eine Asparaginsäure (D) an der Position umfasst, die der Position 90 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht, und der Rest der Monomere eine Asparaginsäure (D) an der Position umfasst, die der Position 93 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht;

(ag) ein Monomer eine Asparaginsäure (D) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 88 und 105 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen, und der Rest der Monomere ein Asparagin (N) und ein Isoleucin (I) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 88 beziehungsweise 105 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen; oder

(ah) ein Monomer eine Asparaginsäure (D) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 88 und 105 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen, und der Rest der Monomere ein Glutamin (Q) und ein Isoleucin (I) an den Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen 88 beziehungsweise 105 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen.


 
10. Heterooligomere Pore nach einem der Ansprüche 3 bis 9, wobei die oder jede Variante von SEQ ID NO: 2 eine Mutation oder eine Substitution an einer oder mehreren der Positionen umfasst, die den Positionen G75, G77, L88, D118, Q126, D134 und E139 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen.
 
11. Heterooligomere Pore nach einem der Ansprüche 3 bis 10, wobei die oder jede Variante von SEQ ID NO: 2 Prolin (P) an der Position umfasst, die der Position 108 in SEQ ID NO: 2 entspricht.
 
12. Heterooligomere Pore nach einem der Ansprüche 3 bis 11, wobei in der oder jeder Variante von SEQ ID NO: 2 (a) 2, 4, 6, 8 oder 10 der Rückstände, die den Positionen 72 bis 82 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen, deletiert wurden und (b) 2, 4, 6, 8 oder 10 der Rückstände, die den Positionen 111 bis 121 von SEQ ID NO: 2 entsprechen, deletiert wurden.
 
13. Heterooligomere Pore nach einem der Ansprüche 3 bis 12, wobei alle Monomere in der Pore eine Variante von SEQ ID NO: 2 umfassen.
 
14. Verfahren zum Charakterisieren eines Zielpolynukleotids, das Folgendes umfasst:

a) Inberührungbringen des Polynukleotids mit einer heterooligomeren Pore nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 13 derart, dass sich das Polynukleotid durch die Pore bewegt; und

b) Durchführen einer oder mehrerer Messungen, während sich das Polynukleotid hinsichtlich der Pore bewegt, wobei die Messungen eine oder mehrere Eigenschaften des Polynukleotids angeben und wobei dadurch das Zielpolynukleotid charakterisiert wird.


 


Revendications

1. Pore hétéro-oligomère dérivé d'une porine de Mycobacterium smegmatis, qui comprend un rétrécissement ayant une charge nette négative ; dans lequel le pore comprend des monomères de MspA, MspB, MspC et/ou MspD ; l'un des monomères dans le pore différant du reste des monomères dans le pore ; et le pore étant capable de caractériser des polynucléotides.
 
2. Pore hétéro-oligomère selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le rétrécissement comprend un, deux, trois ou quatre acides aminés chargés négativement, éventuellement les acides aminés restants dans le rétrécissement n'étant pas chargés.
 
3. Pore hétéro-oligomère selon la revendication 1 ou la revendication 2, dans lequel le pore comprend huit monomères comprenant chacun la séquence montrée dans SEQ ID n° 2 ou un variant formant des pores de celle-ci et le rétrécissement comprenant les résidus dans chaque monomère qui correspondent (a) aux positions 83 à 111 de SEQ ID n° 2 ou (b) aux positions 88, 90, 91, 92, 93, 102, 103 et 105 de SEQ ID n° 2.
 
4. Pore hétéro-oligomère selon la revendication 3, dans lequel un monomère diffère du reste des monomères en comprenant un acide aminé chargé négativement à une ou plusieurs des positions qui correspondent aux positions 88, 90, 91, 92, 93, 102, 103 et 105 de SEQ ID n° 2.
 
5. Pore hétéro-oligomère selon la revendication 4, dans lequel un monomère diffère du reste des monomères en comprenant

a) un acide aminé chargé négativement à une ou plusieurs des positions qui correspondent aux positions 90, 91, 93 et 105 de SEQ ID n° 2 ; ou

b) un acide aminé chargé négativement à la(aux) position(s) qui correspond(ent) à la(aux) position(s) (i) 90 ; (ii) 91 ; (iii) 93 ; (iii) 90 et 91 ; (iv) 90 et 93 ; (v) 91 et 93 ; (vi) 105 ; (vii) 90 et 105 ; ou (viii) 90, 91 et 105 de SEQ ID n° 2.


 
6. Pore hétéro-oligomère selon l'une quelconque des revendications 3 à 5, dans lequel un monomère diffère du reste des monomères en ce qu'il comprend un acide aminé chargé négativement à la(aux) position(s) qui correspond(ent) à la(aux) position(s) 90 et/ou 91 de SEQ ID n° 2.
 
7. Pore hétéro-oligomère selon l'une quelconque des revendications 3 à 6, dans lequel l'acide aminé chargé négativement est l'acide aspartique (D) ou l'acide glutamique (E).
 
8. Pore hétéro-oligomère selon l'une quelconque des revendications 3 à 7, dans lequel le reste des monomères comprend un acide aminé qui n'est pas chargé à la(aux) position(s) qui correspond(ent) à la(aux) position(s) 90 et/ou 91 de SEQ ID n° 2.
 
9. Pore hétéro-oligomère selon l'une quelconque des revendications 3 à 8, dans lequel :

(a) un monomère comprend un acide aspartique (D) à la position qui correspond à la position 90 de SEQ ID n° 2 et le reste des monomères comprend une asparagine (N) à la position qui correspond à la position 90 de SEQ ID n° 2 ;

(b) un monomère comprend un acide aspartique (D) à la position qui correspond à la position 91 de SEQ ID n° 2 et les monomères restants comprennent une asparagine (N) à la position qui correspond à la position 91 de SEQ ID n° 2 ;

(c) un monomère comprend un acide aspartique (D) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 90 et 91 de SEQ ID n° 2 et le reste des monomères comprend une asparagine (N) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 90 et 91 de SEQ ID n° 2 ;

(d) un monomère comprend un acide glutamique (E) à la position qui correspond à la position 90 de SEQ ID n° 2 et le reste des monomères comprend une asparagine (N) à la position qui correspond à la position 90 de SEQ ID n° 2 ;

(e) un monomère comprend un acide glutamique (E) à la position qui correspond à la position 91 de SEQ ID n° 2 et le reste des monomères comprend une asparagine (N) à la position qui correspond à la position 91 de SEQ ID n° 2 ;

(f) un monomère comprend un acide glutamique (E) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 90 et 91 de SEQ ID n° 2 et le reste des monomères comprend une asparagine (N) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 90 et 91 de SEQ ID n° 2 ;

(g) un monomère comprend un acide aspartique (D) à la position qui correspond à la position 90 de SEQ ID n° 2 et le reste des monomères comprend une glutamine (Q) à la position qui correspond à la position 90 de SEQ ID n° 2 ;

(h) un monomère comprend un acide aspartique (D) à la position qui correspond à la position 91 de SEQ ID n° 2 et les monomères restants comprennent une glutamine (Q) à la position qui correspond à la position 91 de SEQ ID n° 2 ;

(i) un monomère comprend un acide aspartique (D) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 90 et 91 de SEQ ID n° 2 et le reste des monomères comprend une glutamine (Q) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 90 et 91 de SEQ ID n° 2 ;

(j) un monomère comprend un acide glutamique (E) à la position qui correspond à la position 90 de SEQ ID n° 2 et le reste des monomères comprend une glutamine (Q) à la position qui correspond à la position 90 de SEQ ID n° 2 ;

(k) un monomère comprend un acide glutamique (E) à la position qui correspond à la position 91 de SEQ ID n° 2 et le reste des monomères comprend une glutamine (Q) à la position qui correspond à la position 91 de SEQ ID n° 2 ;

(l) un monomère comprend un acide glutamique (E) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 90 et 91 de SEQ ID n° 2 et le reste des monomères comprend une glutamine (Q) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 90 et 91 de SEQ ID n° 2 ;

(m) un monomère comprend un acide aspartique (D) à la position qui correspond à la position 88 de SEQ ID n° 2 et le reste des monomères comprend une asparagine (N) à la position qui correspond à la position 88 de SEQ ID n° 2 ;

(n) un monomère comprend un acide aspartique (D) à la position qui correspond à la position 88 de SEQ ID n° 2 et le reste des monomères comprend une glutamine (Q) à la position qui correspond à la position 88 de SEQ ID n° 2 ;

(o) un monomère comprend un acide aspartique (D) à la position qui correspond à la position 103 de SEQ ID n° 2 et le reste des monomères comprend une sérine (S) à la position qui correspond à la position 103 de SEQ ID n° 2 ;

(p) un monomère comprend un acide aspartique (D) à la position qui correspond à la position 105 de SEQ ID n° 2 et le reste des monomères comprend une isoleucine (I) à la position qui correspond à la position 105 de SEQ ID n° 2 ;

(q) un monomère comprend un acide aspartique (D) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 88 et 90 de SEQ ID n° 2 et le reste des monomères comprend une asparagine (N) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 88 et 90 de SEQID n° 2 ;

(r) un monomère comprend un acide aspartique (D) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 88 et 90 de SEQ ID n° 2 et le reste des monomères comprend une glutamine (Q) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 88 et 90 de SEQ ID n° 2 ;

(s) un monomère comprend un acide aspartique (D) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 90 et 103 de SEQ ID n° 2 et le reste des monomères comprend une asparagine (N) et une sérine (S) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 90 et 103 de SEQ ID n° 2 respectivement ;

(t) un monomère comprend un acide aspartique (D) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 90 et 103 de SEQ ID n° 2 et le reste des monomères comprend une glutamine (Q) et une sérine (S) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 90 et 103 de SEQ ID n° 2 respectivement ;

(u) un monomère comprend un acide aspartique (D) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 90 et 105 de SEQ ID n° 2 et le reste des monomères comprend une asparagine (N) et de l'isoleucine (I) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 90 et 105 de SEQ ID n° 2 respectivement ;

(v) un monomère comprend un acide aspartique (D) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 90 et 105 de SEQ ID n° 2 et le reste des monomères comprend une glutamine (Q) et de l'isoleucine (I) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 90 et 105 de SEQ ID n° 2 respectivement ;

(w) un monomère comprend un acide aspartique (D) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 90 et 93 de SEQ ID n° 2 et le reste des monomères comprend une asparagine (N) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 90 et 93 de SEQID n° 2 ;

(x) un monomère comprend un acide aspartique (D) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 90 et 93 de SEQ ID n° 2 et le reste des monomères comprend une glutamine (Q) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 90 et 93 de SEQ ID n° 2 ;

(y) un monomère comprend un acide aspartique (D) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 91 et 93 de SEQ ID n° 2 et le reste des monomères comprend une asparagine (N) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 91 et 93 de SEQ ID n° 2 ;

(z) un monomère comprend un acide aspartique (D) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 91 et 93 de SEQ ID n° 2 et le reste des monomères comprend une glutamine (Q) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 91 et 93 de SEQ ID n° 2 ;

(aa) un monomère comprend un acide aspartique (D) à la position qui correspond à la position 93 de SEQ ID n° 2 et le reste des monomères comprend une asparagine (N) à la position qui correspond à la position 93 de SEQ ID n° 2 ;

(ab) un monomère comprend un acide aspartique (D) à la position qui correspond à la position 93 de SEQ ID n° 2 et le reste des monomères comprend une glutamine (Q) à la position qui correspond à la position 93 de SEQ ID n° 2 ;

(ac) un monomère comprend un acide aspartique (D) à la position qui correspond à la position 90 de SEQ ID n° 2 et le reste des monomères comprend un acide aspartique (D) à la position qui correspond à la position 93 de SEQ ID n° 2 ;

(ad) un monomère comprend un acide aspartique (D) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 90 et 93 de SEQ ID n° 2 et le reste des monomères comprend un acide aspartique (D) à la position qui correspond à la position 93 de SEQ ID n° 2 ;

(ae) un monomère comprend un acide aspartique (D) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 91 et 93 de SEQ ID n° 2 et le reste des monomères comprend un acide aspartique (D) à la position qui correspond à la position 93 de SEQ ID n° 2 ;

(af) un monomère comprend un acide aspartique (D) à la position qui correspond à la position 90 de SEQ ID n° 2 et le reste des monomères comprend un acide aspartique (D) à la position qui correspond à la position 93 de SEQ ID n° 2 ;

(ag) un monomère comprend un acide aspartique (D) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 88 et 105 de SEQ ID n° 2 et le reste des monomères comprend une asparagine (N) et de l'isoleucine (I) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 88 et 105 de SEQ ID n° 2 respectivement ; ou

(ah) un monomère comprend un acide aspartique (D) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 88 et 105 de SEQ ID n° 2 et le reste des monomères comprend une glutamine (Q) et de l'isoleucine (I) aux positions qui correspondent aux positions 88 et 105 de SEQ ID n° 2 respectivement.


 
10. Pore hétéro-oligomère selon l'une quelconque des revendications 3 à 9, dans lequel le ou chaque variant de SEQ ID n° 2 comprend une mutation ou une substitution à une ou plusieurs des positions qui correspondent aux positions G75, G77, L88, D118, Q126, D134 et E139 de SEQ ID n° 2.
 
11. Pore hétéro-oligomère selon l'une quelconque des revendications 3 à 10, dans lequel le ou chaque variant de SEQ ID n° 2 comprend de la proline (P) à la position qui correspond à la position 108 dans SEQ ID n° 2.
 
12. Pore hétéro-oligomère selon l'une quelconque des revendications 3 à 11, dans lequel dans le ou chaque variant de SEQ ID n° 2 (a) 2, 4, 6, 8 ou 10 des résidus qui correspondent aux positions 72 à 82 de SEQ ID n° 2 ont été supprimées et (b) 2, 4, 6, 8 ou 10 des résidus qui correspondent aux positions 111 à 121 de SEQ ID n° 2 ont été supprimés.
 
13. Pore hétéro-oligomère selon l'une quelconque des revendications 3 à 12, dans lequel tous les monomères dans le pore comprennent un variant de SEQ ID n° 2.
 
14. Procédé de caractérisation d'un polynucléotide cible, comprenant :

a) la mise en contact du polynucléotide avec un pore hétéro-oligomérique selon l'une quelconque revendication 1 à 13 de telle sorte que le polynucléotide se déplace à travers le pore ; et

b) la prise d'une ou de plusieurs mesures au fur et à mesure que le polynucléotide se déplace par rapport au pore, les mesures indiquant au moins une caractéristique du polynucléotide et caractérisant ainsi le polynucléotide cible.


 




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Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description




Non-patent literature cited in the description