A DNA aptamer recognising a malaria protein biomarker can function as part of a DNA origami assembly

Sci Rep. 2016 Feb 19;6:21266. doi: 10.1038/srep21266.


DNA aptamers have potential for disease diagnosis and as therapeutics, particularly when interfaced with programmable molecular technology. Here we have combined DNA aptamers specific for the malaria biomarker Plasmodium falciparum lactate dehydrogenase (PfLDH) with a DNA origami scaffold. Twelve aptamers that recognise PfLDH were integrated into a rectangular DNA origami and atomic force microscopy demonstrated that the incorporated aptamers preserve their ability to specifically bind target protein. Captured PfLDH retained enzymatic activity and protein-aptamer binding was observed dynamically using high-speed AFM. This work demonstrates the ability of DNA aptamers to recognise a malaria biomarker whilst being integrated within a supramolecular DNA scaffold, opening new possibilities for malaria diagnostic approaches based on DNA nanotechnology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aptamers, Nucleotide* / chemistry
  • Base Sequence
  • Biomarkers
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / chemistry
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / genetics
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Malaria / diagnosis*
  • Malaria / parasitology*
  • Malaria, Falciparum / diagnosis
  • Malaria, Falciparum / parasitology
  • Microscopy, Atomic Force
  • Models, Molecular
  • Plasmodium falciparum / genetics
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protozoan Proteins / chemistry
  • Protozoan Proteins / genetics*
  • Protozoan Proteins / metabolism


  • Aptamers, Nucleotide
  • Biomarkers
  • Protozoan Proteins
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase