Biotechnology Letters, Vol.40, No.2, 315-324, 2018
Development of RNA aptamer that inhibits methyltransferase activity of dengue virus
To develop an RNA aptamer specific for the methyltransferase (MTase) of dengue virus (DENV) which is essential for viral genome replication and translation acting directly on N-7 and 2'-O-methylation of the type-I cap structure of the viral RNA. We identified 2'-fluoro-modified RNA aptamers that can specifically bind DENV serotype 2 (DENV2) MTase using systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment technology. We truncated the chosen aptamer into a 45-mer RNA sequence that can bind DENV2 MTase with K (d) 28 nM and inhibit N-7 methylation activity of the protein. Moreover, the 45-mer truncated aptamer could not only bind with an K (d) 15.6 nM but also inhibit methylation activity of DENV serotype 3 (DENV3) MTase. The 45-mer aptamer competitively impeded binding of both DENV2 and DENV3 genomic RNA to MTase of each serotype. The selected 45-mer truncated RNA aptamer specifically and avidly bound DENV MTase and competitively inhibited its methylation activity, and thus could be useful for the development of anti-DENV agents.