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Selection of RNA aptamers that bind HIV-1 LTR DNA duplexes: strand invaders

Authors
Journal
Nucleic Acids Research
0305-1048
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Publication Date
Volume
38
Issue
22
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkq696
Keywords
  • Rna
Disciplines
  • Design

Abstract

RNA that can specifically bind to double-stranded DNA is of interest because it might be used as a means to regulate transcription of the target genes. To explore possible interactions between RNA and duplex DNA, we selected for RNA aptamers that can bind to the long terminal repeats (LTRs) of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 DNA. The selected aptamers were classified into four major groups based on the consensus sequences, which were found to locate in the non-stem regions of the predicted RNA secondary structures, consistent with roles in target binding. Analysis of the aptamer consensus sequences suggested that the conserved segments could form duplexes via Watson–Crick base-pairing with preferred sequences in one strand of the DNA, assuming the aptamer invaded the duplex. The aptamer binding sites on the LTR were experimentally determined to be located preferentially at these sites near the termini of double-stranded target DNA, despite selection schemes that were designed to minimize preferences for termini. The results presented here show that aptamer RNAs can be selected in vitro that strand-invade at preferred DNA duplex sequences to form stable complexes.

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