Nowadays detection of new aptamers is dependent on systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX)Ellington1990Tuerk1990Bartel1993. This process involves numerous cycles to select potential candidates from a random pool. These selected sequences have to be further mutated over and over again in order to generate an aptamer with a high affinity.
To substitute this very time consuming and expensive SELEX we developed a new software with different featuressoftware Making Apatmers Without SELEX (MAWS), which enables us to efficiently generate new aptamers within less than a day compared. Thus we were able to predict many aptamers by MAWS and validated them in different assay during the summer. If we had been restricted to use the existing methods this would not have been possible.
Every aptamer bears the potential to be used as module in order to generate switchable aptazymes.Soukup1999 In order to obtain the best possible fusion of an aptamer with a ribozyme or DNAzyme another SELEX with several cycles would have been needed. In order to bypass this second time-cosuming SELEX we developed Joining Apatmers Without SELEX (JAWS). We are able to optimize the transition element to create a bistable system where either one conformation is favored in presence of the ligand while the other one is in absence of the ligand.
MAWS enables the scientific community the possibility to generate aptamers for any ligand in silico. The JAWS generated modules can be fused to a ribozyme or DNAzyme to create ligand-dependent tools. JAWS thus bypasses the requirement for SELEX and, in conjunction with MAWS, enables rapid design-prototype-test cycles, drastically improving the stardardization and modularization of nucleic acid-based devices!
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