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Isolation and Identification of the High-Affinity DNA Aptamer Target to the Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF)

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posted on 2023-12-27, 12:03 authored by Md Anisuzzaman Chowdhury, Jessica M. Collins, David A. Gell, Sharn Perry, Michael C. Breadmore, Sarah Shigdar, Anna E. King
Aptamers are functional oligonucleotide ligands used for the molecular recognition of various targets. The natural characteristics of aptamers make them an excellent alternative to antibodies in diagnostics, therapeutics, and biosensing. DNA aptamers are mainly single-stranded oligonucleotides (ssDNA) that possess a definite binding to targets. However, the application of aptamers to the fields of brain health and neurodegenerative diseases has been limited to date. Herein, a DNA aptamer against the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) protein was obtained by in vitro selection. BDNF is a potential biomarker of brain health and neurodegenerative diseases and has functions in the synaptic plasticity and survival of neurons. We identified eight aptamers that have binding affinity for BDNF from a 50-nucleotide library. Among these aptamers, NV_B12 showed the highest sensitivity and selectivity for detecting BDNF. In an aptamer-linked immobilized sorbent assay (ALISA), the NV_B12 aptamer strongly bound to BDNF protein, in a dose-dependent manner. The dissociation constant (Kd) for NV_B12 was 0.5 nM (95% CI: 0.4–0.6 nM). These findings suggest that BDNF-specific aptamers could be used as an alternative to antibodies in diagnostic and detection assays for BDNF.

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