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J Chromatogr A. 2006 Apr 14;1111(2):115-9. Epub 2005 May 31.

Aptamer stationary phase for protein capture in affinity capillary chromatography.

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Department of Chemistry, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA.


The thrombin-binding DNA aptamer was used with thrombin as a model system to investigate protein capture using aptamer stationary phases in affinity capillary chromatography. The aptamer was covalently attached to the inner surface of a bare fused-silica glass capillary to serve as the stationary phase. Proteins were loaded onto the capillary via an applied pressure. The capillary was then washed to remove unbound and non-specifically associated proteins. Finally, the bound protein was released and eluted using 20 mM Tris buffer containing 8 M urea, pH 7.3, at 50 degrees C. Eluate was collected after each step (load, wash and elute) and relative amounts of protein each were compared using fluorescence spectroscopy. The identity of the protein in the collections was confirmed using matrix assisted laser desorption ionization-time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry. The experiment was repeated for thrombin on a bare (unmodified) capillary and a capillary coated with a scrambled-sequence, non-G-quartet forming oligonucleotide that does not bind with thrombin. The results show that the aptamer stationary phase captures approximately three times as much thrombin as the control columns. The experiment was also repeated using human serum albumin (HSA) alone and in an equimolar mixture with thrombin. HSA was not retained on the aptamer capillary, nor did it affect the capture of thrombin from the mixture.

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