Aptamer Switches Regulated by Post-Transition/Transition Metal Ions

Abstract We introduced an aptamer switch design that relies on the ability of post-transition/transition metal ions to trigger, through their coordination to nucleobases, substantial DNA destabilization. In the absence of molecular target, the addition of one such metal ion to usual aptamer working solutions promotes the formation of an alternative, inert DNA state. Upon exposure to the cognate compound, the equilibrium is shifted towards the competent DNA form. The switching process was preferentially activated by metal ions of intermediate base over phosphate complexation preference (i.e. Pb2+, Cd2+) and operated with diversely structured DNA molecules. This very simple aptamer switch scheme was applied to the detection of small organics using the fluorescence anisotropy readout mode. We envision that the approach could be adapted to a variety of signalling methods that report on changes in the surface charge density of DNA receptors.


Aptamer Switches Regulated by Post-Transition/Transition Metal Ions
Publication Type
Journal Article
Year of Publication
Secondary Title
Angewandte Chemie International Edition
Citation Key
Submitted on 6 May 2021