Arrest of Rolling Circle Amplification by Protein-Binding DNA Aptamers
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Certain DNA polymerases, such as ϕ29 DNA polymerase, can isothermally copy the sequence of a circular template round by round in a process known as rolling circle amplification (RCA), which results in super-long single-stranded (ss) DNA molecules made of tandem repeats. The power of RCA reflects the high processivity and the strand-displacement ability of these polymerases. In this work, the ability of ϕ29DNAP to carry out RCA over circular templates containing a protein-binding DNA aptamer sequence was investigated. It was found that protein-aptamer interactions can prevent this DNA polymerase from reading through the aptameric domain. This finding indicates that protein-binding DNA aptamers can form highly stable complexes with their targets in solution. This novel observation was exploited by translating RCA arrest into a simple and convenient colorimetric assay for the detection of specific protein targets, which continues to showcase the versatility of aptamers as molecular recognition elements for biosensing applications.
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