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Luminescence. 2012 Jan-Feb;27(1):51-8. doi: 10.1002/bio.1324. Epub 2011 Jun 28.

Serum inverts and improves the fluorescence response of an aptamer beacon to various vitamin D analytes.

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  • 1Operational Technologies Corporation, San Antonio, TX, 78229, USA.


A dominant aptamer loop structure from a library of nearly 100 candidate aptamer sequences developed against immobilized 25-hydroxyvitamin D(3) (calcidiol) was converted into a 5'-TYE 665 and 3'-Iowa black-labelled aptamer beacon. The aptamer beacon exhibited a mild 'lights on' reaction in buffer as a function of increasing concentrations of several vitamin D analogues and metabolites, with a limit of detection of approximately 200 ng/mL, and was not specific for any particular congener. In 10% or 50% human serum, the same aptamer beacon inverted its fluorescence behaviour to become a more intense 'lights off' reaction with an improved limit of detection in the range 4-16 ng/mL. We hypothesized that this drastic change in fluorescence behaviour was due to the presence of creatinine and urea in serum, which might destabilize the quenched beacon, causing an increase in fluorescence followed by decreasing fluorescence as a function of vitamin D concentrations that may bind and quench increasingly greater fractions of the denatured beacons. However, the results of several control experiments in the presence of physiological or greater concentrations of creatinine and urea, alone or combined in buffer, failed to produce the beacon fluorescence inversion. Other possible mechanistic hypotheses are also discussed.

Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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