Geniposide is a key iridoid glycoside from Gardenia jasminoides fructus widely used in traditional Chinese herbal medicine. However, detection of this small molecule represents a significant challenge mostly due to the lack of specific molecular recognition elements. In this study, we have performed in vitro selection experiments to isolate DNA aptamers that can specifically bind geniposide. Using a stringent selection procedure, we have isolated DNA aptamers that can distinguish geniposide from genipin and glucose, two structural analogs of geniposide. Two top aptamers exhibit low micromolar binding affinity towards geniposide, but show significantly reduced affinity to genipin and glucose. These aptamers have the potential to be further developed into analytical tools for the detection of geniposide.
Keywords: Chinese herbal medicine; DNA; aptamer; geniposide; in vitro selection; molecular recognition.