Thrombin binding aptamers HD1 and HD22 are the most studied aptamers, both for therapeutic and sensing purposes. Yet, there is still no commercialized aptamer-based sensor device for thrombin detection, suggesting that the binding modes of these aptamers remain to be precisely described. Here, we investigate thrombin-aptamer interactions with molecular dynamics simulations, and show that the different solved structures of HD1-thrombin complex are energetically similar and consequently possibly co-existing. Conversely, HD22 folding is much more stable, and its binding energy with thrombin is significantly larger than that of HD1 complexes. These results are confronted to experiments, which consist in monitoring aggregation of aptamer-functionalized gold nanoparticles triggered by thrombin. HD1 alone, but not HD22, can trigger aggregation, meaning that this aptamer has multiple sites of interactions with thrombin. Furthermore, pre-incubation of HD22 with thrombin impedes HD1 aggregation, suggesting that HD1 and HD22 have competing affinities for the same binding site. Altogether, this study shows that the characterization of aptamer-thrombin interactions by structural and kinetic experiments joined to simulations is necessary for the development of biosensors.
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Research Article| January 26 2015
Binding modes of thrombin binding aptamers investigated by simulations and experiments
A. Trapaidze, A. Bancaud, M. Brut; Binding modes of thrombin binding aptamers investigated by simulations and experiments. Appl. Phys. Lett. 26 January 2015; 106 (4): 043702. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4906594
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