Aptamers as cross-reactive receptors : using binding patterns to discriminate biomolecules




Stewart, Sara, 1980-

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Exploration into the use of aptamers as cross-reactive receptors was the focus of this work. Cross-reactivity is of interest for developing assays to identify complex targets and solutions. By exploiting the simple chemistries of aptamers, we hope to introduce a new class of receptors to the science of molecular discrimination. This manuscript first addresses the use designed aptamers for the identification of variants of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase. In this research aptamers were immobilized on a platform and were used to discriminate four variants of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase. It was found that not only could the array discriminate HIV-1 reverse transcriptase variants for which aptamers were designed, it would also discriminate variants for which no aptamers exist. A panel of aptamers was used to discriminate four separate cell lines, which were chosen as examples of complex targets. This aptamer panel was used to further explore the use of aptamers as cross-reactive sensors. Forty-six aptamers were selected from the literature that were designed to be specific to cells or molecules expected to be in the surface of cells. This panel showed differential binding patterns to each of the cell types, displaying cross-reactive behavior. During the course of this research, we also developed a novel ratiometric method of using aptamer count derived from next-generation sequencing as a method for discrimination. This is in lieu of the more commonly used fluorescent signals.
Finally the use of multiple signals for pattern recognition routines was further explored by running various models using artificial data. Various situations were applied to replicate different possible situation which might arise when working with macromolecular interactions. The purpose of this was to advance the communities understanding and ability to interpret results from the pattern recognition methods of PCA and LDA.



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