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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Multiplex Aptamer Discovery through Apta-Seq and Its Application to ATP Aptamers Derived from Human-Genomic SELEX.

  • Author(s): Abdelsayed, Michael M
  • Ho, Bao T
  • Vu, Michael MK
  • Polanco, Julio
  • Spitale, Robert C
  • Lupták, Andrej
  • et al.

Laboratory-evolved RNAs bind a wide variety of targets and serve highly diverse functions, including as diagnostic and therapeutic aptamers. The majority of aptamers have been identified using in vitro selection (SELEX), a molecular evolution technique based on selecting target-binding RNAs from highly diverse pools through serial rounds of enrichment and amplification. In vitro selection typically yields multiple distinct motifs of highly variable abundance and target-binding affinities. The discovery of new aptamers is often limited by the difficulty of characterizing the selected motifs, because testing of individual sequences tends to be a tedious process. To facilitate the discovery of new aptamers within in vitro selected pools, we developed Apta-Seq, a multiplex analysis based on quantitative, ligand-dependent 2' acylation of solvent-accessible regions of the selected RNA pools, followed by reverse transcription (SHAPE) and deep sequencing. The method reveals, in a single sequencing experiment, the identity, structural features, and target dissociation constants for aptamers present in the selected pool. Application of Apta-Seq to a human genomic pool enriched for ATP-binding RNAs yielded three new aptamers, which together with previously identified human aptamers suggest that ligand-binding RNAs may be common in mammals.

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