Indexed on: 13 Aug '08Published on: 13 Aug '08Published in: Nucleosides, nucleotides & nucleic acids
We sought to create new cellulose-binding RNA aptamers for use as modular components in the engineering of complex functional nucleic acids. We designed our in vitro selection strategy to incorporate self-sustained sequence replication (3SR), which is an isothermal nucleic acid amplification protocol that allows for the rapid amplification of RNAs with little manipulation. The best performing aptamer representative was chosen for reselection and further optimization. The aptamer exhibits robust binding of cellulose in both the powdered and paper form, but did not show any significant binding of closely related polysaccharides. The minimal cellulose-binding RNA aptamer also can be grafted onto other RNAs to permit the isolation of RNAs from complex biochemical mixtures via cellulose affinity chromatography. This was demonstrated by fusing the aptamer to a glmS ribozyme sequence, and selectively eluting ribozyme cleavage products from cellulose using glucosamine 6-phosphate to activate glmS ribozyme function.