In vitro selection of RNA-cleaving DNAzymes for bacterial detection Journal Articles uri icon

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • DNAzymes refer to single-stranded DNA molecules with catalytic activity and can be isolated from synthetic random-sequence DNA pools using the technique of in vitro selection. DNAzymes that cleave RNA, known as "RNA-cleaving DNAzymes", represent one of the best-studied classes of DNAzymes and have been widely used for the development of biosensors and bioassays for various analytes. We have been interested in developing RNA-cleaving DNAzymes as bacterial sensors and these DNAzymes are engineered to perform three linked functions: recognition of a bacterial biomarker, RNA cleavage, and fluorescence generation. These fluorogenic DNAzymes emit fluorescence automatically in the presence of a bacterium of interest and can be used to set up a simple "mix-and-read" assay to detect this bacterium. In this article, we will discuss this DNAzyme system and present a proven strategy for isolating highly specific bacteria-responding DNAzyme probes from random-sequence DNA pools. We will also provide an in vitro selection protocol successfully used to derive RNA-cleaving fluorogenic DNAzyme probes that are capable of recognizing a targeted strain of Clostridium difficile.


  • Zhang, Wenqing
  • Feng, Qian
  • Chang, Dingran
  • Tram, Kha
  • Li, Yingfu

publication date

  • August 2016