Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry

The impact of immobilized metal affinity chromatography (IMAC) resins on DNA aptamer selection.

PMID 24924211


DNA aptamers are single-stranded oligonucleotides which can form various secondary and tertiary structures. They can recognize a broad range of targets ranging from small molecules, such as ions, vitamins, antibiotics, to high molecular weight structures, including enzymes and antibodies. DNA aptamers are extensively studied as a potential source of new pharmaceutical drugs due to their inexpensive synthesis, low immunogenicity, and high specificity. The commonly used aptamer selection procedure is systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX) where the target molecule is immobilized on an appropriate chromatography resin. For peptide/protein targets, immobilized metal affinity chromatography (IMAC) resins are frequently used. There is a broad range of commercially available resins which can be used for IMAC. They are characterized by different metal ions, linker types, and bead materials. In this study, we tested the impact of different IMAC resins on the DNA aptamer selection process during eight SELEX cycles. A histidine-tagged 29 amino acid peptide corresponding to the interdomain connecting loop of human proliferating cell nuclear antigen was used as a selection target. Different resin materials containing the same metal ion (Co(2+)) were tested. Simultaneously, agarose resins containing identical linkers, but different metal ions (Co(2+), Cu(2+), Ni(2+), and Zn(2+)) were analyzed. The results of this study clearly demonstrated the impact of the metal ion and resin material on the DNA aptamer selection progress. The presented data indicate that for successful IMAC resin-based SELEX, the determination of the optimal resin might be crucial.