Indexed on: 13 Jan '09Published on: 13 Jan '09Published in: Nucleic acids research
In this paper, we describe a new method for selecting RNA aptamers that cooperatively bind to two specific sites within a target RNA. We designed a selection system in which two RNAs, a target RNA and a RNA pool, were assembled by employing a pre-organized GAAA tetraloop-11-nt receptor interaction. This allows us to select the binding sequence against a targeted internal loop as well as a linker region optimized for binding of the two binding sites. After the selection, the aptamers bound with dissociation constants in the nanomolar range, thereby forming a stable complex with the target RNA. Thus this method enables identification of aptamers for a specific binding site together with a linker for cooperative binding of the two RNAs. It appears that our new method can be applied generally to select RNAs that adhere tightly to a target RNA via two specific sites. The method can also be applicable for further engineering of both natural and artificial RNAs.