Vincent Ruigrok: Aptamers: an unexpected application of DNA

DNA is primarily known as carrier of genetic information, the blueprint of life. DNA, however, is more versatile than that. Short DNA molecules can bind other molecules, even if these molecules not naturally interact with DNA. Such a DNA molecule, that is capable of specifically binding another molecule, is called an aptamer.

Promovendus VJB (Vincent) Ruigrok MSc
Promotor prof.dr. J (John) van der Oost
prof.dr. H (Hauke) Smidt
Organisatie Wageningen University, Laboratory of Microbiology

vr 21 juni 2013 16:00 tot 17:30

Locatie Auditorium, building number 362
Generaal Foulkesweg 1
6703 BG Wageningen
The biggest limitation of aptamers is the restricted diversity of their building blocks
Vincent Ruigrok

Because aptamers can bind a wide vartiy of targets there are numerous applications, varying from medicine to toxin detection. There are billions of different DNA molecules, but only a few are useful aptamers; the main challenge is to find them. In this research, several streptavidin-binding aptamers have been identified. Furthermore, this research shows that small changes in the composition of the aptamer can completely abolish its target-binding capacity. These, and other findings, could contribute to more effective aptamer selection procedures.