High-throughput bead-based identification of structure-switching aptamer beacons

Simon G. Trevino, Matthew Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We describe a new platform to identify structure-switching DNA beacon aptamers, which detect small molecules in a specific manner. By clonally amplifying a DNA library designed to fluoresce in response to binding events onto microbeads, aptamer beacons can be selected by stringent fluorescence-assisted sorting. We validated this method by isolating known and novel anti-steroid aptamers from two separate DNA libraries that were structurally enriched with three-way junctions. Importantly, aptamers were retrieved in only a few (three) rounds of selection by this approach and did not require further optimization, significantly streamlining the process of beacon development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1877-1881
Number of pages5
JournalChembiochem : a European journal of chemical biology
Issue number13
StatePublished - Sep 5 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • DNA structures
  • aptamers
  • emulsion PCR
  • molecular beacons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Organic Chemistry


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