Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) is the etiological agent of a newly emerged disease SARS. The SARS-CoV nucleocapsid (N) protein is one of the most abundant structural proteins and serves as a diagnostic marker for accurate and sensitive detection of the virus. Using a SELEX (systematic evolution of ligand by exponential enrichment) procedure and recombinant N protein, we selected a high-affinity RNA aptamer capable of binding to N protein with a dissociation constant of 1.65 nM. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays and RNA competition experiments showed that the selected aptamer recognized selectively the C-terminal region of N protein with high specificity. Using a chemiluminescence immunosorbent assay and a nanoarray aptamer chip with the selected aptamer as an antigen-capturing agent, we could sensitively detect N protein at a concentration as low as 2 pg/ml. These aptamer-antibody hybrid immunoassays may be useful for rapid, sensitive detection of SARS-CoV N protein.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry
- Environmental Chemistry