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Piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA) is a type of non-coding small nucleotide sequence that was recently discovered. PiRNA serves as modulators of transcription and plays a key role in tumorigenesis. Our lab has been working with piR 1245, which serves as a clinical biomarker for colon cancer since it is upregulated in the disease state. Previous experiments have shown the design of a sensing mechanism for these short nucleotide sequences using aptamers which are single stranded sequences of DNA or RNA which can fold into complex threedimensional shapes and form binding pockets and cavities. In our previous experiment, our lab used fluorescence to demonstrate proof of concept that the introduction and hybridization of the piR1245 target sequence led to the displacement of the fluorophore-linked signaling sequences from the aptamer and that the signals were amplified using dual probes. Our goal is to use fluorophore based aptamer sensors for piRNA and conjugate the signaling sequences with flavin adenine dinucleotide (a redox trigger of the enzyme Glucose oxidase), rather than FAM (which is a fluorophore similar to FITC). The results will be detected using an apo-Glucose oxidase reactivation assay and provide enzymatic amplification in signaling.

Publication Date

Summer 2020


Xavier University of Louisiana


New Orleans


Fluorescence, Molecular Switches, piR 1245 Detection



Fluorescence-Based Molecular Switches for piR 1245 Detection