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Identification of sequence-structure RNA binding motifs for SELEX-derived aptamers


MOTIVATION: Systematic Evolution of Ligands by EXponential Enrichment (SELEX) represents a state-of-the-art technology to isolate single-stranded (ribo)nucleic acid fragments, named aptamers, which bind to a molecule (or molecules) of interest via specific structural regions induced by their sequence-dependent fold. This powerful method has applications in designing protein inhibitors, molecular detection systems, therapeutic drugs and antibody replacement among others. However, full understanding and consequently optimal utilization of the process has lagged behind its wide application due to the lack of dedicated computational approaches. At the same time, the combination of SELEX with novel sequencing technologies is beginning to provide the data that will allow the examination of a variety of properties of the selection process. RESULTS: To close this gap we developed, Aptamotif, a computational method for the identification of sequence-structure motifs in SELEX-derived aptamers. To increase the chances of identifying functional motifs, Aptamotif uses an ensemble-based approach. We validated the method using two published aptamer datasets containing experimentally determined motifs of increasing complexity. We were able to recreate the author's findings to a high degree, thus proving the capability of our approach to identify binding motifs in SELEX data. Additionally, using our new experimental dataset, we illustrate the application of Aptamotif to elucidate several properties of the selection process. CONTACT:,

Type Journal
ISBN 1367-4811 (Electronic) 1367-4803 (Linking)
Authors Hoinka, J.; Zotenko, E.; Friedman, A.; Sauna, Z. E.; Przytycka, T. M.;
Publisher Name Bioinformatics
Published Date 2012-01-01
Published Volume 28
Published Issue 12
Published Pages i215-i223
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version
OpenAccess link to author's accepted manuscript version