Comprehensive Analytical Comparison of Strategies Used for Small Molecule Aptamer Evaluation
Nucleic acid aptamers are versatile molecular recognition agents that bind to their targets with high selectivity and affinity. The past few years have seen a dramatic increase in aptamer development and interest for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. As the applications for aptamers expand, the need for a more standardized, stringent, and informative characterization and validation methodology increases. Here we performed a comprehensive analysis of a panel of conventional affinity binding assays using a suite of aptamers for the small molecule target ochratoxin A (OTA). Our results highlight inconsistency between conventional affinity assays and the need for multiple characterization strategies. To mitigate some of the challenges revealed in our head-to-head comparison of aptamer binding assays, we further developed and evaluated a set of novel strategies that facilitate efficient screening and characterization of aptamers in solution. Finally, we provide a workflow that permits rapid and robust screening, characterization, and functional verification of aptamers thus improving their development and integration into novel applications. (Chemical Equation Presented).
McKeague, M. (Maureen), De Girolamo, A. (Annalisa), Valenzano, S. (Stefania), Pascale, M. (Michelangelo), Ruscito, A. (Annamaria), Velu, R. (Ranganathan), … DeRosa, M.C. (2015). Comprehensive Analytical Comparison of Strategies Used for Small Molecule Aptamer Evaluation. Analytical Chemistry, 87(17), 8608–8612. doi:10.1021/acs.analchem.5b02102