Light-Up Split Broccoli Aptamer as a Versatile Tool for RNA Assembly Monitoring in Cell-Free TX-TL Systems, Hybrid RNA/DNA Origami Tagging and DNA BiosensingBinary light-up aptamers are intriguing and emerging tools with potential in different fields. Herein, we demonstrate the versatility of a split Broccoli aptamer system able to turn on the fluorescence signal only in the presence of a complementary sequence. First, an RNA three-way junction harbouring the split system is assembled in an E. coli-based cell-free TX-TL system where the folding of the functional aptamer is demonstrated. Then, the same strategy is introduced into a ‘bio-orthogonal’ hybrid RNA/DNA rectangle origami characterized by atomic force microscopy: the activation of the split system through the origami self-assembly is demonstrated. Finally, our system is successfully used to detect the femtomoles of a Campylobacter spp. DNA target sequence. Potential applications of our system include the real-time monitoring of the self-assembly of nucleic-acid-based devices in vivo and of the intracellular delivery of therapeutic nanostructures, as well as the in vitro and in vivo detection of different DNA/RNA targets.
Modulating T Cell Responses by Targeting CD3Harnessing the immune system to fight cancer has become a reality with the clinical success of immune-checkpoint blockade (ICB) antibodies against PD(L)-1 and CTLA-4. However, not all cancer patients respond to ICB. Thus, there is a need to modulate the immune system through alternative strategies for improving clinical responses to ICB. The CD3-T cell receptor (TCR) is the canonical receptor complex on T cells. It provides the “first signal” that initiates T cell activation and determines the specificity of the immune response. The TCR confers the binding specificity whilst the CD3 subunits facilitate signal transduction necessary for T cell activation. While the mechanisms through which antigen sensing and signal transduction occur in the CD3–TCR complex are still under debate, recent revelations regarding the intricate 3D structure of the CD3–TCR complex might open the possibility of modulating its activity by designing targeted drugs and tools, including aptamers. In this review, we summarize the basis of CD3–TCR complex assembly and survey the clinical and preclinical therapeutic tools available to modulate CD3–TCR function for potentiating cancer immunotherapy.