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J Fluoresc. 2012 Nov;22(6):1617-25. doi: 10.1007/s10895-012-1105-6. Epub 2012 Jul 19.

A novel reconfigurable optical biosensor based on DNA aptamers and a DNA molecular beacon.

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Trace Analysis and Biosensor Research Center, Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Songkhla, Thailand.


In order to alter a typical molecular aptamer beacon (MAB) to detect a different analyte there is currently a need to change the whole sensor unit including the expensive labeling fluorophores. In this work a DNA-based reconfigurable molecular aptamer beacon was developed. It is composed of two parts: a variable part and a constant part. The variable part comprises an aptamer strand and its complementary strand while the constant part is an oligonucleotide doubly labeled with a Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) pair and the two parts become joined via DNA hybridization. The sensor exists in two conformations: a folded (high FRET) and an unfolded (low FRET) in the absence and presence of the aptamer-target binding respectively. This sensor can be reconfigured by washing away the aptamer and the complementary strand using proper complementary strands, called washers. As a proof of the principle, a sensor that bound the enzyme thrombin, an analyte with a strong binding, was first constructed and then reconfigured to bind adenosine, selected as an analyte with a weak binding. We believe that the design is of universal use applicable to many types of aptamers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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