A more efficient DNA technology to detect and treat infectious diseases and cancer has been developed by researchers at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) of A*STAR.
The researchers improved on existing technologies to create a modified single-stranded DNA molecule called aptamer. DNA aptamers are ideal for pharmaceutical applications because they can specifically bind to any molecular target in the body such as proteins, viruses, bacteria and cells.
Once DNA aptamers are artificially generated for each target, they will bind to it and inhibit its activity. This makes DNA aptamers a promising technology for disease detection and drug delivery. But no DNA aptamers have been approved for clinical use yet because current aptamers do not bind well to molecular targets and are easily digested by enzymes.
“To overcome these challenges, we have created a DNA aptamer with strong binding ability and stability with superior efficacy. We hope to use our DNA aptamers as the platform technology for diagnostics and new drug development,” said IBN Executive Director Professor Jackie Y. Ying.
This study, led by IBN Principal Research Scientist and Team Leader Dr Ichiro Hirao, was recently published in the journal, Scientific Reports.
To tackle the weak binding problem, the research team added a new artificial component called unnatural base to a standard DNA aptamer, which typically has four components. The addition of the fifth component greatly enhanced the binding ability to the molecular target by 100 times as compared to conventional DNA aptamers. Furthermore, to prevent the aptamer from being digested easily by enzymes, a unique and small DNA called ‘mini-hairpin DNA’ was added to the DNA aptamer.
Dr Hirao explained, “The mini-hairpin DNAs have an unusually stable and compact stem-loop structure, like a hairpin, of small DNA fragments. Their structure strongly resists the digestive enzymes, so I added them to specific positions on the DNA aptamer to act as a protective shield. Usually DNAs are digested within one hour in blood at body temperature. With the mini-hairpin DNA, our DNA aptamers can survive for days instead of hours. This is important for pharmaceutical applications, which require the therapeutic to remain in the body for a longer period.”
If successfully commercialized, DNA aptamers could replace or complement the existing use of antibodies in drugs for targeted disease treatment. Like aptamers, antibodies bind to targets in the body, but often cause undesirable immune response and are not easy to mass produce with high quality.
“We can now generate very promising DNA aptamers for clinical use. Our aptamers are more efficient, and lower in cost and toxicity compared to conventional methods. The next step of our research is to use the aptamers to detect and deactivate target molecules and cells that cause infectious diseases, such as dengue, malaria and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, as well as cancer,” added Dr Hirao.
The Latest on: DNA technology
via Google News
The Latest on: DNA technology
- Discover your dog's history and screen its health with these dog DNA testson November 28, 2020 at 6:34 am
Find out about your dog's health and heritage with these discounted dog DNA kits. DNA kits aren't just for people. This holiday season, you can grab a DNA kit for your dog to find out about their ...
- MARA project aims to use new DNA based nanotechnology to fight bacteriaon November 27, 2020 at 5:18 pm
Antibiotics are used to prevent and treat bacterial infections. They have played a major role in combating infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, typhoid fever, and meningitis in 20th ...
- DNA Sequencing Trial Wraps, Illumina Rival Seeks Invalidityon November 27, 2020 at 10:52 am
Four subsidiaries of Chinese company BGI Group seeking to invalidate patents behind an American company's system for rapid DNA sequencing maintained in closing arguments at trial on Friday that the ...
- Applied DNA to Present at the Imperial Capital 2020 Security Investor Conference on December 3on November 27, 2020 at 8:02 am
Applied DNA Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: APDN) (“Applied DNA” or the "Company"), a leader in Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)-based DNA manufacturing, announced that it is scheduled to participate virtually ...
- Israeli scientists use mRNA COVID-19 vaccine technology to fight canceron November 24, 2020 at 7:40 am
For more than a decade, scientists have dreamed about the seemingly endless possibilities of messenger RNA (mRNA). Now, the world is likely to have two anti-coronavirus vaccines based on mRNA ...
- Trending News: North America DNA Sequencing Market Anticipated for Progressive CAGR Growth During 2020-2027on November 24, 2020 at 2:43 am
Research Dive :According to a new report published by Research Dive,titled,North America DNA Sequencing Market by product, application, technology and end user: Opportunity Analysis and Industry ...
- After 2 decades, DNA test reveals donor who saved St. Peters woman's lifeon November 23, 2020 at 9:13 pm
An extreme treatment plan saved a local baby's life 20 years ago. Now, her remarkable story takes another incredible turn as technology helps her make an unbelievable connection.
- Scientists regenerate skin with stem cells to see how DNA defects in kids cause canceron November 23, 2020 at 8:13 am
Physicians and scientists at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center used new stem cell technology to regenerate and study living patient-specific skin in the lab, giving them a precise close up ...
- New Technology Images 3D Structure Of Chromosomes In High-Reson November 23, 2020 at 7:24 am
If you think of a chromosome, what comes to mind? Most people imagine the twisted ‘X’ shape seen in the media and textbooks. Chromosomes do in fact look li ...
- DNA Technology Could Help Investigators In Prince George's County Reopen Cold Caseson November 23, 2020 at 7:16 am
A $470,000 grant to use new DNA technology could be the answer to solving cold cases in Prince George's County. The county was one of 10 in the nation to receive the three-year-long grant from the ...
via Bing News