Date of Award
Master of Science (MSc)
Cytochrome c (Cyt c) is a heme-containing protein that is a component of the electron transport chain as well as the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway. It is released from the mitochondrial intermembrane space to the cytosol during apoptosis and is also thought to be a biomarker for cancer and liver disease. Therefore, an efficient Cyt c biosensor would be a very useful tool for studying apoptosis. Here we show the process of development of Cyt c-dependent aptazymes, derived by in vitro selection. These aptazymes consist of 3 components: 1) a substrate with a cleavage site that consists of a single ribonucleotide flanked by a fluorophore and quencher; 2) a DNAzyme (catalytic DNA) motif capable of cleaving the substrate; 3) an aptamer, a short piece of single- stranded DNA that can specifically bind Cyt c. When Cyt c is absent, the aptamer occludes the catalytic core of the DNAzyme and the fluorophore of the intact substrate is quenched. However, when Cyt c is present, the aptamer binds Cyt c, allowing the DNAzyme to cleave the embedded ribonucleotide, separating the fluorophore and quencher, resulting in a fluorescent signal. Simulations of in vitro selection of Cyt c- dependent aptazymes were also performed. The simulations revealed several methods that can improve the success rate of future in vitro selections of aptazymes.
Further analysis of the previously derived DNAzyme DEC22-18 was also performed. A detailed understanding of this DNAzyme will allow it to be developed into a biosensor.
Lee, Jennifer A., "TOWARDS THE DEVELOPMENT OF A CYTOCHROME C BIOSENSOR" (2012). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 6850.
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