DNA binding to proteins and small molecules

Ed Stokes ebstokes at maxwell.crd.ge.com
Wed Aug 5 07:46:25 EST 1992

	I am a physicist working on development of optical sensors
using immobilized biological materials. We have been immobilizing IgG
antibodies to various antigens onto fiber optic sensors in an effort
to manufacture high-specificity optical probes. My understanding, from
the literature, is that DNA can be used in much the same way. Here's
what I have gleaned from the literature thus far.
	A number of sequence degenerate samples of ~15 base pair DNA
sequences (oligonucleotides) are synthesized. Each sample is tested
for coincidental binding with the target molecule. The target molecule
is typically a metabolite or a biopolymer. The tightest binding
oligonucleotide is then amplified by PCR and subjected to further
	Is this a reasonable explanation of the process ? How small
can the target molecule be ? Would this work for nitrobenzene, for
example ? How large are the final DNA sequences ? How many binding
sites on each one ? My understanding is that such DNA binder molecules
can be manufactured quicker than IgG can typically be raised. Are
there other advantages to this technology (i.e., tighter binding, more
binding sites per molecule, more binding sites per unit area, etc.) ?
	Any pointers to literature in this are, or discussions with
knowledgable folks, would be appreciated.
				Ed Stokes
				ebstokes at crd.ge.com

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