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1.  Detection of NASBA amplified bacterial tmRNA molecules on SLICSel designed microarray probes 
BMC Biotechnology  2011;11:17.
We present a comprehensive technological solution for bacterial diagnostics using tmRNA as a marker molecule. A robust probe design algorithm for microbial detection microarray is implemented. The probes were evaluated for specificity and, combined with NASBA (Nucleic Acid Sequence Based Amplification) amplification, for sensitivity.
We developed a new web-based program SLICSel for the design of hybridization probes, based on nearest-neighbor thermodynamic modeling. A SLICSel minimum binding energy difference criterion of 4 kcal/mol was sufficient to design of Streptococcus pneumoniae tmRNA specific microarray probes. With lower binding energy difference criteria, additional hybridization specificity tests on the microarray were needed to eliminate non-specific probes. Using SLICSel designed microarray probes and NASBA we were able to detect S. pneumoniae tmRNA from a series of total RNA dilutions equivalent to the RNA content of 0.1-10 CFU.
The described technological solution and both its separate components SLICSel and NASBA-microarray technology independently are applicative for many different areas of microbial diagnostics.
PMCID: PMC3051898  PMID: 21356118
2.  Detection of tmRNA molecules on microarrays at low temperatures using helper oligonucleotides 
BMC Biotechnology  2010;10:34.
The hybridization of synthetic Streptococcus pneumoniae tmRNA on a detection microarray is slow at 34°C resulting in low signal intensities.
We demonstrate that adding specific DNA helper oligonucleotides (chaperones) to the hybridization buffer increases the signal strength at a given temperature and thus makes the specific detection of Streptococcus pneumoniae tmRNA more sensitive. No loss of specificity was observed at low temperatures compared to hybridization at 46°C. The effect of the chaperones can be explained by disruption of the strong secondary and tertiary structure of the target RNA by the selective hybridization of helper molecules. The amplification of the hybridization signal strength by chaperones is not necessarily local; we observed increased signal intensities in both local and distant regions of the target molecule.
The sensitivity of the detection of tmRNA at low temperature can be increased by chaperone oligonucleotides. Due to the complexity of RNA secondary and tertiary structures the effect of any individual chaperone is currently not predictable.
PMCID: PMC2873282  PMID: 20426847
3.  Fluorescent labeling of NASBA amplified tmRNA molecules for microarray applications 
BMC Biotechnology  2009;9:45.
Here we present a novel promising microbial diagnostic method that combines the sensitivity of Nucleic Acid Sequence Based Amplification (NASBA) with the high information content of microarray technology for the detection of bacterial tmRNA molecules. The NASBA protocol was modified to include aminoallyl-UTP (aaUTP) molecules that were incorporated into nascent RNA during the NASBA reaction. Post-amplification labeling with fluorescent dye was carried out subsequently and tmRNA hybridization signal intensities were measured using microarray technology. Significant optimization of the labeled NASBA protocol was required to maintain the required sensitivity of the reactions.
Two different aaUTP salts were evaluated and optimum final concentrations were identified for both. The final 2 mM concentration of aaUTP Li-salt in NASBA reaction resulted in highest microarray signals overall, being twice as high as the strongest signals with 1 mM aaUTP Na-salt.
We have successfully demonstrated efficient combination of NASBA amplification technology with microarray based hybridization detection. The method is applicative for many different areas of microbial diagnostics including environmental monitoring, bio threat detection, industrial process monitoring and clinical microbiology.
PMCID: PMC2685129  PMID: 19445684

Results 1-3 (3)