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Measurement of Aptamer–Protein Interactions with Back-Scattering Interferometry

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journal contribution
posted on 01.12.2011, 00:00 by Ian R. Olmsted, Yi Xiao, Minseon Cho, Andrew T. Csordas, Jonathan H. Sheehan, Jens Meiler, H. Tom Soh, Darryl J. Bornhop
We report the quantitative measurement of aptamer–protein interactions using backscattering interferometry (BSI) and show that BSI can determine when distinct binding regions are accessed. As a model system, we utilized two DNA aptamers (Tasset and Bock) that bind to distinct sites of a target protein (human α-thrombin). This is the first time BSI has been used to study a multivalent system in free solution wherein more than one ligand binds to a single target. We measured aptamer equilibrum dissociation constants (Kd) of 3.84 nM (Tasset–thrombin) and 5.96 nM (Bock–thrombin), in close agreement with the literature. Unexpectedly, we observed allosteric effects such that the binding of the first aptamer resulted in a significant change in the binding affinity of the second aptamer. For example, the Kd of Bock aptamer binding to preformed Tasset–thrombin complexes was 7-fold lower (indicating higher affinity) compared to binding to thrombin alone. Preliminary modeling efforts suggest evidence for allosteric linkage between the two exosites.