Journal of nucleic acids (J Nucleic Acids)

Publisher: Hindawi Publishing Corporation

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ISSN 2090-021X

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Hindawi Publishing Corporation

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Publications in this journal

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    ABSTRACT: Toxin B is one of the major virulence factors of Clostridium difficile, a bacterium that is responsible for a significant number of diarrhea cases in acute care settings. Due to the prevalence of C. difficile induced diarrhea, rapid and correct diagnosis is crucial in the disease management. In this study, we have employed a stringent in vitro selection method to identify single-stranded DNA molecular recognition elements (MRE) specific for toxin B. At the end of the 12-round selection, one MRE with high affinity (K d = 47.3 nM) for toxin B was identified. The selected MRE demonstrated low cross binding activities on negative targets: bovine serum albumin, Staphylococcus aureus alpha toxin, Pseudomonas aeruginosa exotoxin A, and cholera toxin of Vibrio cholera. A modified sandwich ELISA assay was developed utilizing the selected ssDNA MRE as the antigen capturing element and achieved a sensitive detection of 50 nM of toxin B in human fecal preparations.
    Journal of nucleic acids 01/2015; 2015:808495. DOI:10.1155/2015/808495
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    ABSTRACT: Infection with Shiga toxin- (Stx-) producing E. coli causes life threatening hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a leading cause of acute renal failure in children. Of the two antigenically distinct toxins, Stx1 and Stx2, Stx2 is more firmly linked with the development of HUS. In the present study, selective evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX) was used in an attempt to identify RNA aptamers against Stx1 and Stx2. After 5 rounds of selection, significant enrichment of aptamer pool was obtained against Stx2, but not against Stx1, using a RNA aptamer library containing 56 random nucleotides (N56). Characterization of individual aptamer sequences revealed that six unique RNA aptamers (mA/pC, mB/pA, mC, mD, pB, and pD) recognized Stx2 in a filter binding assay. None of these aptamers bound Stx1. Aptamers mA/pC, mB/pA, mC, and mD, but not pB and pD, partially blocked binding of Alexa 488-labeled Stx2 with HeLa cells in a flow cytometry assay. However, none of the aptamers neutralized Stx2-mediated cytotoxicity and death of HeLa cells.
    Journal of nucleic acids 04/2014; 2014:214929. DOI:10.1155/2014/214929
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    ABSTRACT: The nucleoside 2,2,4-triamino-5(2H)-oxazolone (Oz) can result from oxidative damage to guanine residues in DNA. Despite differences among the three polymerases (Pol β, KF exo(-), and Pol η) regarding nucleotide incorporation patterns opposite Oz, all three polymerases can incorporate guanine opposite Oz. Based on ab initio calculations, we proposed a structure for a stable Oz:G base pair. Here, to assess the stability of each Oz-containing base pair (Oz:G, Oz:A, Oz:C, and Oz:T) upon DNA replication, we determined the efficiency of Pol β-, KF exo(-)-, or Pol η-catalyzed primer extension beyond each base pair. With each polymerase, extension beyond Oz:G was more efficient than that beyond Oz:A, Oz:C, or Oz:T. Moreover, thermal denaturation studies revealed that the T m value for the duplex containing Oz:G was significantly higher than those obtained for duplexes containing Oz:A, Oz:C, or Oz:T. Therefore, the results from ab initio calculations along with those from DNA replication assays and thermal denaturation experiments supported the conclusion that Oz:G is the most stable of the Oz-containing base pairs.
    Journal of nucleic acids 01/2014; 2014:178350. DOI:10.1155/2014/178350
  • Journal of nucleic acids 11/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Glycoconjugates play various roles in biological processes. In particular, oligosaccharides on the surface of animal cells are involved in virus infection and cell-cell communication. Inhibitors of carbohydrate-protein interactions are potential antiviral drugs. Several anti-influenza drugs such as oseltamivir and zanamivir are derivatives of sialic acid, which inhibits neuraminidase. However, it is very difficult to prepare a diverse range of sugar derivatives by chemical synthesis or by the isolation of natural products. In addition, the pathogenic capsular polysaccharides of bacteria are carbohydrate antigens, for which a safe and efficacious method of vaccination is required. Phage-display technology has been improved to enable the identification of peptides that bind to carbohydrate-binding proteins, such as lectins and antibodies, from a large repertoire of peptide sequences. These peptides are known as "carbohydrate-mimetic peptides (CMPs)" because they mimic carbohydrate structures. Compared to carbohydrate derivatives, it is easy to prepare mono- and multivalent peptides and then to modify them to create various derivatives. Such mimetic peptides are available as peptide inhibitors of carbohydrate-protein interactions and peptide mimotopes that are conjugated with adjuvant for vaccination.
    Journal of nucleic acids 10/2012; 2012:740982. DOI:10.1155/2012/740982
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    ABSTRACT: In vitro selection by display methods has been an effective tool for engineering recombinant antibodies. mRNA display based on a cell-free translation system has the advantages of larger library sizes and quicker selection procedures compared with cell-based display methods such as phage display. However, mRNA display has been limited to select single-chain polypeptides such as scFvs due to its characteristic of linking a nascent polypeptide with its encoding mRNA on the ribosome. Here we demonstrated a new way of selecting heterodimeric Fab fragments by using mRNA display combined with emulsion PCR. We designed a pair of complementary 5' UTR sequences that can link the Fab heavy and light chain genes together by overlap-extension PCR in water-in-oil emulsions. We confirmed that two mRNA-displayed polypeptides for heavy and light chain of a model Fab fragment were associated into the active form and that a specific Fab fragment gene was enriched over 100-fold per round of a model affinity selection followed by the gene-linking emulsion PCR. We further performed directed evolution of Fab fragments with higher binding activity from a randomized Fab fragment library.
    Journal of nucleic acids 09/2012; 2012:371379. DOI:10.1155/2012/371379
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    ABSTRACT: Folded RNA molecules have recently emerged as critical regulatory elements in biological pathways, serving not just as carriers of genetic information but also as key components in enzymatic assemblies. In particular, the transactivation response element (TAR) of the HIV genome regulates transcriptional elongation by interacting specifically with the Tat protein, initiating the recruitment of the elongation complex. Preventing this interaction from occurring in vivo halts HIV replication, thus making RNA-binding molecules an intriguing pharmaceutical target. Using α-amino acids as starting materials, we have designed and synthesized a new class of polyamino-amido oligomers, called PAAs, specifically for binding to folded RNA structures. The PAA monomers were readily incorporated into a 125-member combinatorial library of PAA trimers. In order to rapidly assess RNA binding, a quantum dot-based fluorescent screen was developed to visualize RNA binding on-resin. The binding affinities of hits were quantified using a terbium footprinting assay, allowing us to identify a ligand (SFF) with low micromolar affinity (k(d) = 14 μM) for TAR RNA. The work presented herein represents the development of a flexible scaffold that can be easily synthesized, screened, and subsequently modified to provide ligands specific for binding to folded RNAs.
    Journal of nucleic acids 08/2012; 2012:971581. DOI:10.1155/2012/971581
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    ABSTRACT: Directed evolution of proteins is a technique used to modify protein functions through "Darwinian selection." In vitro compartmentalization (IVC) is an in vitro gene screening system for directed evolution of proteins. IVC establishes the link between genetic information (genotype) and the protein translated from the information (phenotype), which is essential for all directed evolution methods, by encapsulating both in a nonliving microcompartment. Herein, we introduce a new liposome-based IVC system consisting of a liposome, the protein synthesis using recombinant elements (PURE) system and a fluorescence-activated cell sorter (FACS) used as a microcompartment, in vitro protein synthesis system, and high-throughput screen, respectively. Liposome-based IVC is characterized by in vitro protein synthesis from a single copy of a gene in a cell-sized unilamellar liposome and quantitative functional evaluation of the synthesized proteins. Examples of liposome-based IVC for screening proteins such as GFP and β-glucuronidase are described. We discuss the future directions for this method and its applications.
    Journal of nucleic acids 08/2012; 2012:923214. DOI:10.1155/2012/923214
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    ABSTRACT: We studied the effect of genetic susceptibility on hexavalent chromium induced dermal adversities. The health status of population was examined from the areas of Kanpur (India) having the elevated hexavalent chromium levels in groundwater. Blood samples were collected for DNA isolation to conduct polymorphic determination of genes, namely: NQO1 (C609T), hOGG1 (C1245G), GSTT1, and GSTM1 (deletion). Symptomatic exposed subjects (n = 38) were compared with asymptomatic exposed subjects (n = 108) along with asymptomatic controls (n = 148) from a non contaminated reference community. Exposed symptomatic group consisted of 36.8% subjects who were GSTM1 null genotyped as compared to asymptomatic where only 19.4% subjects were null. The exposed subjects with GSTM1 null genotype were more susceptible to dermal adversities in comparison with wild genotyped subjects (OR = 2.42; 95% CI = 1.071-5.451). Age, smoking, gender or duration of residence were not found to have any confounding effect towards this association. Association with other genes was not statistically significant, nonetheless, possible contribution by these genes cannot be ruled out. In conclusion, variation in the polymorphic status of GSTM1 gene may influence dermal outcomes among residents from Cr(VI) contaminated areas. Further studies are therefore, needed to examine these observations among different population groups.
    Journal of nucleic acids 07/2012; 2012:968641. DOI:10.1155/2012/968641
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    ABSTRACT: Here is presented a concept for in vitro selection of suppressor tRNAs. It uses a pool of dsDNA templates in compartmentalized water-in-oil micelles. The template contains a transcription/translation trigger, an amber stop codon, and another transcription trigger for the anticodon- or anticodon loop-randomized gene for tRNA(Ser). Upon transcription are generated two types of RNAs, a tRNA and a translatable mRNA (mRNA-tRNA). When the tRNA suppresses the stop codon (UAG) of the mRNA, the full-length protein obtained upon translation remains attached to the mRNA (read-through ribosome display) that contains the sequence of the tRNA. In this way, the active suppressor tRNAs can be selected (amplified) and their sequences read out. The enriched anticodon (CUA) was complementary to the UAG stop codon and the enriched anticodon-loop was the same as that in the natural tRNA(Ser).
    Journal of nucleic acids 07/2012; 2012:538129. DOI:10.1155/2012/538129