Fluorescence based Aptasensors for the determination of hepatitis B virus e antigen.
ABSTRACT: This research is aimed at selecting specific aptamer of hepatitis B e antigen by SELEX and its applications. Hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) seroconversion is used as an indicator of virological response when treating patients suffering from chronic hepatitis B. HBeAg also indicates a high viremia and high infectivity in untreated patients. With HBeAg modified magnetic beads as targets, three groups of aptamers are successfully selected. These are the first reported DNA aptamers that can specifically bind to HBeAg. Based on the property that the conformation changes upon binding to its target, aptamer has emerged as ideal candidate in a variety of sensing applications. In this study, we present a simple strategy for aptamer-based fluorescence biosensors for the quantitative detection of HBeAg, in which a fluorescence labeled HBeAg aptamer serves as the molecular recognition element and a short DNA molecule that is complementary to the aptamer serves as the competitor. The LOD for HBeAg is 609?ng/mL. Later, the fluorescence system is deployed in HBeAg positive and negative blood serum (p?
Project description:Currently, the development of effective diagnostic reagents as well as treatments against Hepatitis C virus (HCV) remains a high priority. In this study, we have described the development of an alive cell surface--Systematic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential Enrichment (CS-SELEX) technique and screened the functional ssDNA aptamers that specifically bound to HCV envelope surface glycoprotein E2. Through 13 rounds of selection, the CS-SELEX generated high-affinity ssDNA aptamers, and the selected ssDNA aptamer ZE2 demonstrated the highest specificity and affinity to E2-positive cells. HCV particles could be specifically captured and diagnosed using the aptamer ZE2. A good correlation was observed in HCV patients between HCV E2 antigen-aptamer assay and assays for HCV RNA quantities or HCV antibody detection. Moreover, the selected aptamers, especially ZE2, could competitively inhibit E2 protein binding to CD81, an important HCV receptor, and significantly block HCV cell culture (HCVcc) infection of human hepatocytes (Huh7.5.1) in vitro. Our data demonstrate that the newly selected ssDNA aptamers, especially aptamer ZE2, hold great promise for developing new molecular probes, as an early diagnostic reagent for HCV surface antigen, or a therapeutic drug specifically for HCV.
Project description:Whole-cell Systemic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential enrichment (SELEX) is the process by which aptamers specific to target cells are developed. Aptamers selected by whole-cell SELEX have high affinity and specificity for bacterial surface molecules and live bacterial targets. To identify DNA aptamers specific to Staphylococcus aureus, we applied our rapid whole-cell SELEX method to a single-stranded ssDNA library. To improve the specificity and selectivity of the aptamers, we designed, selected, and developed two categories of aptamers that were selected by two kinds of whole-cell SELEX, by mixing and combining FACS analysis and a counter-SELEX process. Using this approach, we have developed a biosensor system that employs a high affinity aptamer for detection of target bacteria. FAM-labeled aptamer sequences with high binding to S. aureus, as determined by fluorescence spectroscopic analysis, were identified, and aptamer A14, selected by the basic whole-cell SELEX using a once-off FACS analysis, and which had a high binding affinity and specificity, was chosen. The binding assay was evaluated using FACS analysis. Our study demonstrated the development of a set of whole-cell SELEX derived aptamers specific to S. aureus; this approach can be used in the identification of other bacteria.
Project description:The SELEX (Systematic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential Enrichment) process allows for the enrichment of DNA or RNA aptamers from a complex nucleic acid library that are specific for a target molecule. The SELEX process has been adapted from identifying aptamers in vitro using recombinant target protein to cell-based methodologies (Cell-SELEX), where the targets are expressed on the surface of cells. One major advantage of Cell-SELEX is that the target molecules are maintained in a native confirmation. Additionally, Cell-SELEX may be used to discover novel therapeutic biomarkers by performing selections on diseased versus healthy cells. However, a caveat to Cell-SELEX is that testing of single aptamers identified in the selection is laborious, time-consuming, and expensive. The most frequently used methods to screen for aptamer binding and internalization on cells are flow cytometry and quantitative PCR (qPCR). While flow cytometry can directly assess binding of a fluorescently-labeled aptamer to a target, it requires significant starting material and is not easily scalable. qPCR-based approaches are highly sensitive but have non-negligible experiment-to-experiment variability due to the number of sample processing steps. Herein we describe a cell-based aptamer fluorescence binding and internalization (AFBI) assay. This assay requires minimal reagents and has few experimental steps/manipulations, thereby allowing for rapid screening of many aptamers and conditions simultaneously and direct quantitation of aptamer binding and internalization.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Cell-SELEX is now widely used for the selection of aptamers against cell surface biomarkers. However, despite negative selection steps using mock cells, this method sometimes results in aptamers against undesirable targets that are expressed both on mock and targeted cells. Studying these junk aptamers might be useful for further applications than those originally envisaged. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Cell-SELEX was performed to identify aptamers against CHO-K1 cells expressing human Endothelin type B receptor (ETBR). CHO-K1 cells were used for negative selection of aptamers. Several aptamers were identified but no one could discriminate between both cell lines. We decided to study one of these aptamers, named ACE4, and we identified that it binds to the Annexin A2, a protein overexpressed in many cancers. Radioactive binding assays and flow cytometry demonstrated that the aptamer was able to bind several cancer cell lines from different origins, particularly the MCF-7 cells. Fluorescence microscopy revealed it could be completely internalized in cells in 2 hours. Finally, the tumor targeting of the aptamer was evaluated in vivo in nude mice xenograft with MCF-7 cells using fluorescence diffuse optical tomography (fDOT) imaging. Three hours after intravenous injection, the aptamer demonstrated a significantly higher uptake in the tumor compared to a scramble sequence. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Although aptamers could be selected during cell-SELEX against other targets than those initially intended, they represent a potential source of ligands for basic research, diagnoses and therapy. Here, studying such aptamers, we identify one with high affinity for Annexin A2 that could be a promising tool for biomedical application.
Project description:Aptamer has been long studied as a substitute of antibodies for many purposes. However, due to the exceeded length of the aptamers obtained in vitro, difficulties arise in its manipulation during its molecular conjugation on the matrix surfaces. Current study focuses on computational improvement for aptamers screening of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) through optimization of the length sequences obtained from SELEX. Three original aptamers with affinity against HBsAg were truncated into five short hairpin structured aptamers and their affinity against HBsAg was thoroughly studied by molecular docking, molecular dynamics (MD) simulation, and Molecular Mechanics Poisson-Boltzmann Surface Area (MMPBSA) method. The result shows that truncated aptamers binding on HBsAg "a" determinant region are stabilized by the dynamic H-bond formation between the active binding residues and nucleotides. Amino acids residues with the highest hydrogen bonds hydrogen bond interactions with all five aptamers were determined as the active binding residues and further characterized. The computational prediction of complexes binding will include validations through experimental assays in future studies. Current study will improve the current in vitro aptamers by minimizing the aptamer length for its easy manipulation.
Project description:Aptamers are synthetic, short nucleic acid molecules capable of specific target recognition. Aptamers are selected using a screening method termed Systematic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential enrichment (SELEX). We recently have introduced a variant of SELEX called "Ligand-Guided-Selection" (LIGS) that allows the identification of specific aptamers against known cell-surface proteins. Utilizing LIGS, we introduced three specific aptamers against membrane-bound IgM (mIgM), which is the hallmark of B cells. Out of the three aptamers selected against mIgM, an aptamer termed R1, in particular, was found to be interesting due to its ability to recognize mIgM on target cells and then block anti-IgM antibodies binding their antigen. We systematically truncated parent aptamer R1 to design shorter variants with enhanced affinity. Importantly, herein we show that the specificity of the most optimized variant of R1 aptamer is similar to that of anti-IgM antibody, indicating that the specificity of the ligand utilized in selective elution of the aptamer determines the specificity of the LIGS-generated aptamer. Furthermore, we report that truncated variants of R1 are able to recognize mIgM-positive human B lymphoma BJAB cells at physiological temperature, demonstrating that LIGS-generated aptamers could be re-optimized into higher affinity variants. Collectively, these findings show the significance of LIGS in generating highly specific aptamers with potential applications in biomedicine.
Project description:Hepatitis C virus (HCV) envelope protein (E1E2) is essential for virus binding to host cells. Aptamers have been demonstrated to have strong promising applications in drug development. In the current study, a cDNA fragment encoding the entire E1E2 gene of HCV was cloned. E1E2 protein was expressed and purified. Aptamers for E1E2 were selected by the method of selective evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX), and the antiviral actions of the aptamers were examined. The mechanism of their antiviral activity was investigated. The data show that selected aptamers for E1E2 specifically recognize the recombinant E1E2 protein and E1E2 protein from HCV-infected cells. CD81 protein blocks the binding of aptamer E1E2-6 to E1E2 protein. Aptamers against E1E2 inhibit HCV infection in an infectious cell culture system although they have no effect on HCV replication in a replicon cell line. Beta interferon (IFN-?) and IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) are not induced in virus-infected hepatocytes with aptamer treatment, suggesting that E1E2-specific aptamers do not induce innate immunity. E2 protein is essential for the inhibition of HCV infection by aptamer E1E2-6, and the aptamer binding sites are located in E2. Q412R within E1E2 is the major resistance substitution identified. The data indicate that an aptamer against E1E2 exerts its antiviral effects through inhibition of virus binding to host cells. Aptamers against E1E2 can be used with envelope protein to understand the mechanisms of HCV entry and fusion. The aptamers may hold promise for development as therapeutic drugs for hepatitis C patients.
Project description:Cell-SELEX is performed to select for cell binding aptamers. We employed an additional selection pressure by using RNAse to remove surface-binding aptamers and select for cell-internalizing aptamers. A common RNA sequence was identified from independent cell-SELEX procedures against two different pancreatic cancer cell lines, indicating a strong selection pressure towards this sequence from the large pool of other available sequences present in the aptamer library. The aptamer is not specific for the pancreatic cancer cell lines, and a similar sequence motif is present in previously published internalizing aptamers. The identified sequence forms a structural motif that binds to a surface protein, which either is highly abundant or has strong affinity for the selected aptamer sequence. Deselecting (removing) this sequence during cell-SELEX may increase the probability of identifying aptamers against cell type-specific targets on the cell surface.
Project description:Aptamers are 'synthetic antibodies' that can bind to target molecules with high affinity and specificity. Aptamers are chemically synthesized and their discovery can be performed completely in vitro, rather than relying on in vivo biological processes, making them well-suited for high-throughput discovery. However, a large fraction of the most enriched aptamers in Systematic Evolution of Ligands by EXponential enrichment (SELEX) rounds display poor binding activity. Here, we present MPBind, a Meta-motif-based statistical framework and pipeline to Predict the BIND: ing potential of SELEX-derived aptamers. Using human embryonic stem cell SELEX-Seq data, MPBind achieved high prediction accuracy for binding potential. Further analysis showed that MPBind is robust to both polymerase chain reaction amplification bias and incomplete sequencing of aptamer pools. These two biases usually confound aptamer analysis.MPBind software and documents are available at http://www.morgridge.net/MPBind.html. The human embryonic stem cells whole-cell SELEX-Seq data are available at http://www.morgridge.net/Aptamer/.
Project description:Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites invade and remodel human red blood cells (RBCs) by trafficking parasite-synthesized proteins to the RBC surface. While these proteins mediate interactions with host cells that contribute to disease pathogenesis, the infected RBC surface proteome remains poorly characterized. Here we use a novel strategy (I-SELEX) to discover high affinity aptamers that selectively recognize distinct epitopes uniquely present on parasite-infected RBCs. Based on inertial focusing in spiral microfluidic channels, I-SELEX enables stringent partitioning of cells (efficiency ? 10(6)) from unbound oligonucleotides at high volume throughput (~2 × 10(6) cells min(-1)). Using an RBC model displaying a single, non-native antigen and live malaria parasite-infected RBCs as targets, we establish suitability of this strategy for de novo aptamer selections. We demonstrate recovery of a diverse set of aptamers that recognize distinct, surface-displayed epitopes on parasite-infected RBCs with nanomolar affinity, including an aptamer against the protein responsible for placental sequestration, var2CSA. These findings validate I-SELEX as a broadly applicable aptamer discovery platform that enables identification of new reagents for mapping the parasite-infected RBC surface proteome at higher molecular resolution to potentially contribute to malaria diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccine efforts.