Diagnostic RNA Aptamer Selection for Burkholderia psuedomallei
In the treatment of diseases, aptamers can serve multiple purposes. For instance, some aptamers can be therapeutic. In other words, they treat the disease or condition. Others still can be diagnostic. These aptamers aid in the diagnosis of a disease so that it may be treated appropriately. In general terms, the target in question, Burkholderia psuedomallei, can infect humans and other animals is the cause of the disease known as melioidosis. This disease, even with treatment, has a mortality rate of 20-50%.
It is evident that an aptamer against B. psuedomallei would be beneficial. The question of specifics thus arises. I would personally prefer to do an RNA aptamer selection against the target. I am open to learning and doing a DNA selection if need be, but am far more able to perform RNA based selections. As I see it, there are two possible methods for approaching this selection. The first method would involve selecting against the target provided by Dr. Kate Brown. The second method, suggest by another aptamer student, Dustin, involves targeting a protein in B. psuedomallei known as BimA.
In summary, the main goal of this venture would be to find an aptamer via RNA based selection that can bind either to B. pusedomallei in general or BimA. This goal will be attempted to be achieved using the selection techniques learned over the past few months. An aptamer might potentially address the problem of meliodosis, but that is for Dr. Kate Brown to decide and figure out.
Specific Aim: Selection of an RNA aptamer against B. psuedomallei
As stated before, the specific aim and goal of this project is to find an aptamer against Burkholderia pusedomallei. Hopefully, this aptamer could then be utilized in the diagnosis of of melioidosis.
Ordering the Target: Acquiring the target is relatively simple in that Dr. Kate Brown will provide it.
Target Proposal (9/16/11):