Controlling the activity of a protein is necessary for defining its function in vivo. RNA aptamers are capable of inhibiting proteins with high affinity and specificity, but this effect is not readily reversible. We describe a general method for discovering aptamers that bind and inhibit their target protein, but addition of a specific small molecule disrupts the protein-RNA complex. A SELEX protocol was used to raise RNA aptamers to the DNA repair enzyme, formamidopyrimidine glycosylase (Fpg), and neomycin was employed in each round to dissociate Fpg-bound RNAs. We identified an RNA molecule able to completely inhibit Fpg at 100 nM concentration. Importantly, Fpg activity is recovered by the addition of neomycin. We envision these ligand-regulated aptamers (LIRAs) as valuable tools in the study of biological phenomena in which the timing of molecular events is critical.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Organic Chemistry