Welcome to the Bonham Research Lab at the Metropolitan State University of Denver.
Our work focuses on the development of simple, convenient probes for the quantitative, rapid detection of active transcription factors and other proteins. These probes comprise a versatile new class of oligonucleotide-based fluorescent “switches” that recognize proteins using native binding interactions. This approach simplifies the rational design of beacons for any target of interest and allows the probes to have affinity and specificity on the order of natural binding interactions. This design has been put into practice with beacons directed against diverse human transcription factors, and for all targets we find rapid (minute), specific quantification of nanomolar concentrations, retaining selectivity even in media as complex as crude nuclear extracts. These sensors thus represent a convenient, versatile, and readily generalized approach to detect active transcription factors that provide significant advantages over existing methods for the detection of proteins.