Study of binding stoichiometries of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 reverse transcriptase by capillary electrophoresis and laser-induced fluorescence polarization using aptamers as probes

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Binding stoichiometries between four DNA aptamers (RT12, RT26, RTIt49, and ODN93) and the reverse transcriptase (RT) of the type 1 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) were studied using affinity CE (ACE) coupled with LIF polarization and fluorescence polarization (FP). The ACE/LIF study showed evidence of two binding stoichiometries between the HIV-1 RT protein and aptamers RT12, RT26, and ODN93, suggesting that these aptamers can bind to both the p66 and p51 subunits of the HIV-1 RT Only one binding stoichiometry for aptamer RTIt49 was found. The affinity complexes were easily separated from the unbound aptamers; however, the different stoichiometries were not well resolved. A complementary technique, FP, was able to provide additional information about the binding and supporting evidence for the ACE/LIF results. The ACE/LIFP study also revealed that the FP values of the 1:1 complexes of the HIV-1 RT protein with aptamers RT12, RT26, and ODN93 were always much greater than those of the 1:2 complexes. This was initially surprising because the larger molecular size of the 1:2 complexes was expected to result in higher FP values than the corresponding 1:1 complexes. This phenomenon was probably a result of fluorescence resonance energy transfer between the two fluorescent molecules bound to the HIV-1 RT protein.

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