Application of a unique server-based oligonucleotide probe selection tool toward a novel biosensor for the detection of Streptococcus pyogenes
We developed a software program for the rapid selection of detection probes to be used in nucleic acid-based assays. In comparison to commercially available software packages, our program allows the addition of oligotags as required by nucleic acid sequence-based amplification (NASBA) as well as automatic BLAST searches for all probe/primer pairs. We then demonstrated the usefulness of the program by designing a novel lateral flow biosensor for Streptococcus pyogenes that does not rely on amplification methods such as the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or NASBA to obtain low limits of detection, but instead uses multiple reporter and capture probes per target sequence and an instantaneous amplification via dye-encapsulating liposomes. These assays will decrease the detection time to just a 20 min hybridization reaction and avoid costly enzymatic gene amplification reactions. The lateral flow assay was developed quantifying the 16S rRNA from S. pyogenes by designing reporter and capture probes that specifically hybridize with the RNA and form a sandwich. DNA reporter probes were tagged with dye-encapsulating liposomes, biotinylated DNA oligonucleotides were used as capture probes. From the initial number of capture and reporter probes chosen, a combination of two capture and three reporter probes were found to provide optimal signal generation and significant enhancement over single capture/reporter probe combinations. The selectivity of the biosensor was proven by analyzing organisms closely related to S. pyogenes, such as other Streptococcus and Enterococcus species. All probes had been selected by the software program within minutes and no iterative optimization and re-design of the oligonucleotides was required which enabled a very rapid biosensor prototyping. While the sensitivity obtained with the biosensor was only 135 ng, future experiments will decrease this significantly by the addition of more reporter and capture probes for either the same rRNA or a different nucleic acid target molecule. This will lead to the possibility of detecting S. pyogenes with a rugged assay that does not require a cell culturing or gene amplification step and will therefore enable rapid, specific and sensitive onsite testing.
Sam R. Nugen, B.L. Leonard, and A.J. Baeumner. "Application of a unique server-based oligonucleotide probe selection tool toward a novel biosensor for the detection of Streptococcus pyogenes" Biosensors & Bioelectronics 22.11 (2007): 2442-2448.
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