Molecular Beacon Aptamers for Protein Monitoring in Real-Time and in Homogeneous Solutions
Steven W. Suljak,
Aptamers are nucleic acids selected for binding target molecules of interest with high affinity and selectivity. They have seen increasing application in protein detection due to many of their advantages over traditional protein probes such as antibodies. Aptamers robust yet flexible functional structures and relatively small sizes have allowed us to develop several strategies for sensitive protein detection in real time and in homogeneous solutions while posing minimum effects on the biological activities of the proteins. Quantitative protein analyses were done using aptamers labeled with a fluorophore and a quencher based on fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), or using aptamers labeled with only one fluorophore based on fluorescence anisotropy. Real world biological samples were tested for the presence of target proteins. We believe that aptamers hold great potential for high throughput protein analysis in areas such as disease diagnosis and functional proteomics.
Keywords: molecular beacon, aptamers, protein monitoring, proteomics
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