Spinach RNA aptamer detects lead(II) with high selectivity

Chem Commun (Camb). 2015 May 28;51(43):9034-7. doi: 10.1039/c5cc01526j.


Spinach RNA aptamer contains a G-quadruplex motif that serves as a platform for binding and fluorescence activation of a GFP-like fluorophore. Here we show that Pb(2+) induces formation of Spinach's G-quadruplex and activates fluorescence with high selectivity and sensitivity. This device establishes the first example of an RNA-based sensor that provides a simple and inexpensive tool for Pb(2+) detection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aptamers, Nucleotide / chemistry*
  • Aptamers, Nucleotide / metabolism
  • Circular Dichroism
  • Fluorescent Dyes / chemistry
  • G-Quadruplexes
  • Ions / chemistry
  • Lead / analysis*
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence
  • Spinacia oleracea / metabolism*


  • Aptamers, Nucleotide
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Ions
  • Lead