User:Maureen McKeague

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Maureen McKeague

Maureen McKeague
Canada Research Chair in Genomic Chemistry, Tier II
Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine
Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science
McGill University, Canada
Lab Website
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Research interests

Genomic Chemistry: I have been fascinated by nucleic acids since I learned about the basis of genetic inheritance. As a chemist, I view these biopolymers as functional and adaptable macromolecules with limitless potential. As such, my research bridges the chemistry of the genome to natural product production and clinical diagnostics for new applications in green chemistry and cancer therapeutics.


  1. Maru, B., Messikommer, A., Huang, M., Seipel, K., Kovecses, O., Valk, P.J.M., Theocharides, A.P.A., Mercier, F.E., Pabst, T., McKeague, M., Luedtke, N. PARP-1 improves leukemia outcomes by inducing parthanatos during chemotherapy. Cell Reports Medicine. 2023, 4, 101191362.
  2. Jiang, Y.; Mingard, C.; Huber, S.; Takhaveev, V.; McKeague, M.; Kizaki, S.; Ziegler, N.; Schneider, M.; Hürlimann, V.; Hoeng, J.; Sierro, N.; Ivanov, N.; Sturla, S.J. Quantification and Mapping of Alkylation in the Human Genome Reveal Single Nucleotide Resolution Precursors of Mutational Signatures. ACS Central Science. 2023, 3, 362–372.
  3. McKeague, M.; Calzada, V.; Cerchia, L.; DeRosa, M.C.; Heemstra, J.M.; Janjic, N.; Johnson, P.E.; Kraus, L.; Limson, J.; Mayer, G.; Nilsen-Hamilton, M.; Porciani, D.; Sharma, T.K.; Suess, B.; Tanner, J.A.; Shigdar, S. The minimum aptamer publication standards (MAPS guidelines) for de novo aptamer selection. Aptamers. 2022.
  4. Forder, M.; McKeague, M. Tuning Aptamer-Switching for Biosensing Malarial Proteins. MSURJ. 2022.
  5. Robinson, K.A.; Lee, S.Y.; Friedman, S.; Christiaans, E.; McKeague, M.; Pavelka, L.; Sirjoosingh, P. You know what, I can do this”: Heterogeneous Joint Trajectories of Expectancy for Success and Attainment Value in Chemistry. Contemporary Educational Psychology. 2022. 69, 102055.
  6. Maru, B.; Nadeau, L.; McKeague, M. Enhancing CAR-T Cell Therapy with Functional Nucleic Acids. ACS Pharmacol. Transl. Sci. 2021,4, 6, 1716–17273.
  7. Bechu, A.; Liao, J.; Huang, C.; Ahn, C.; McKeague, M.; Ghoshal, S.; Moores, A. Cadmium-Containing Quantum Dots Used in Electronic Displays: Implications for Toxicity and Environmental Transformations. ACS Appl. Nano Mater. 2021. 8: 8417-8428.
  8. Hirka, S; McKeague, M. Quantification of aptamer-protein binding with fluorescence anisotropy Aptamers. 2021, 5.
  9. Krebs, J.; McKeague, M. Green toxicology: connecting green chemistry and modern toxicology Chemical Research in Toxicology. 2020, 33, 2919–2931.
  10. Mingard, C.; Wu, J.; McKeague, M.; Sturla, S.J. Next-generation DNA damage sequencing Chemical Society Reviews. 2020, 49, 7354-7377.
  11. Wang, L.; McKeague, M. Aptamers in the pursuit of COVID-19 management Aptamers. 2020, 4, 1-2.
  12. Oteng, E.K.; Gu, W.; McKeague, M. High-efficiency enrichment enables identification of aptamers to circulating Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes Scientific Reports. 2020, 10, 9706.
  13. Xiang, J.S.; Kaplan, M.; Dykstra, P.; Hinks, M.; McKeague, M.; Smolke, C.D. Massively Parallel RNA Device Engineering in Mammalian Cells with RNA-Seq and FACS-Seq Nature Communications. 2019. 10, 4327.
  14. Shigdar, S.; Johnson, P.E.; Pietruschka, G.; Legen, T.; Mayer, G.; McKeague, M. Aptamers 2019-a conference update Aptamers. 2019, 3, 1-3.
  15. Smith, M.; McKeague, M.; DeRosa, M.C. Synthesis, Transfer, and Characterization of Core-Shell Gold-Coated Magnetic Nanoparticles MethodsX. 2019.
  16. Kraus, A.; McKeague, M.; Seiwert, N.; Nagel, G.; Minneker, V.; Geisen, S. Zeigler, N.; Trantakis, I.A.; Kaina, B.; Thomas, A.D.; Sturla, S.J.; Fahrer, J. Immunological and mass spectrometry-based approaches to determine thresholds of the mutagenic DNA adduct O6-methylguanine in vivo, Arch Toxicol. 2019, 93, 559–572.
  17. Lam, J.; McKeague, M. Dietary modulation of mitochondrial DNA damage: Implications in ageing and associated diseases The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. 2019, 63, 1–10.
  18. McKeague, M.; Otto, C.; Angelov, T.; Räz, M.H.; Sturla, S.J. 2018. Base-pairing partner modulates alkylguanine alkyltransferase ACS Chemical Biology. 2018, 13 (9), 2534-2541.
  19. Wu, J.; McKeague, M.; Sturla, S.J. Nucleotide-resolution genome-wide mapping of oxidative DNA damage by click-code-seq, JACS. 2018, 140 (31), 9783-9787.
  20. DeGirolamo, A.;, McKeague, M.; Pascale, M.; Cortese, M.; DeRosa, M.C. Chapter 3: Immobilization of aptamers on substrates. Aptamers for Analytical Applications: Affinity Optimization and Method Design. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. (Ed) 2018, 85-126.
  21. Tanner, J.A.; Ismail, S.I.; Shigdar, S.; DeRosa, M.C.; Hahn, U.; Johnson, P.E.; Suess, B.; McKeague, M. Aptamers 2018-a conference update Aptamers. 2018, 2, 52-54.
  22. Dahlmann, H.A.; Berger, F.D.; Kung, R.W.; Wyss, L.A.; Gubler, I.; McKeague, M.; Wetmore, S.D.; Sturla, S.J. Fluorescent Nucleobase Analogues with Extended Pi Surfaces Stabilize DNA Duplexes Containing O6‐Alkylguanine Adducts Helvetica Chimica Acta.
  23. Dörsam, B.; Seiwert, N.; Foersch, S.; Stroh, S.; Nagel, G.; Begaliew, G.; Diehl, E.; Kraus, A.; McKeague, M.; Minneker, V.; Roukos, V.; Reißig, V.; Waisman, A.; Moehler, M.; Stier, A.; Mangerich, A.; Dantzer, F.; Kaina, B.; Fahrer, J. PARP-1 protects against colorectal tumor induction, but promotes inflammation-driven colorectal tumor progression, PNAS. 2018, 115, E4061-E4070.
  24. Awwad, A.M.; McKeague, M. Riboswitches and synthetic aptamers: a head-to-head comparison Aptamers. 2018, 2, 1-10.
  25. Henri, J.; McKeague, M.; Johnson, P.E.; Suess, B.; Nakamura, Y.; Nilsen-Hamilton, M.; Pastor, F.; Hahn, U.; Bunka, D.; Shigdar, S. Aptamers 2017 at Oxford Aptamers. 2018, 2, 11-14.
  26. Ruscito, A.; McConnell, E.M.; Koudrina, A.; Ranganathan, V.; Mattice, C.; Hunt, V.; McKeague, M.; DeRosa, M.C. In vitro selection and characterization of DNA aptamers to a small molecule target Current Protocols in Chemical Biology. 2017, 9, 233-268.
  27. McKeague, M. Aptamers for DNA damage and repair International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2017, 18 (10), 2212.
  28. Alsaafin, A.; McKeague, M. Functional nucleic acids as in vivo metabolite and ion biosensors Biosensors and Bioelectronics. 2017, 94, 94–106.
  29. McKeague, M.; Ranganathan, V.; De Girolamo, A.; Valenzano, S.; Pascale, M.; Smith, M.; DeRosa, M.C. Comparison of in-solution biorecognition properties of aptamers against ochratoxin A, Toxins. 2016, 8 (11), 336-348.
  30. Wang, Y-H.; McKeague, M.; Hsu, T.M.; Smolke, C.D. Design and construction of generalizable RNA-protein hybrid controllers by level-matched genetic signal amplification Cell Systems. 2016, 3 (6), 549–562.
  31. McKeague, M.; Wang, Y-H.; Cravens, A.; Win, M.N.; Smolke, C.D. Engineering a microbial platform for de novo biosynthesis of diverse methylxanthines Metabolic Engineering. 2016, 38, 191–203.
  32. Valenzano, S.; De Girolamo, A.; DeRosa, M.C.; McKeague, M.; Schena, R.; Catucci, L.; Pascale, M. Screening and Identification of DNA aptamers to tyramine using in vitro selection and high-throughput sequencing. ACS Combinatorial Science. 2016, 18 (6), 302–313.
  33. McKeague, M.; Wong, R.S.; Smolke, C.D. Opportunities in the design and application of RNA for gene expression control Nucleic Acids Research. 2016, 44 (7),2987-2999
  34. McKeague, M.; Wang, Y-H.; Smolke, C.D. In vitro screening and in silico modeling of RNA-based gene expression control ACS Chemical Biology. 2015, 10 (11), 2463–2467.
  35. McKeague, M.; McConnell, E.M.; Cruz-Toledo, J.; Bernard, E.D.; Pach, A.; Zhang, X.; Beking, M.; Francis, T.; Giamberardino, A.; Cabecinha, A.; Ruscito, A.; Aranda-Rodriguez, R.; Dumontier, M.; DeRosa, M.C. Analysis of in vitro aptamer selection parameters. Journal of Molecular Evolution. 2015, 81(5), 150-161.
  36. Frost, N.R.; McKeague, M.; Falcioni, D.; DeRosa, M.C. An in solution assay for parallel interrogation of structure and affinity of small molecule-binding aptamers, Analyst. 2015, 140 (8) 6643–6651.
  37. McKeague, M.; De Girolamo, A.; Valenzano, S.; Pascale, M.; Ruscito, A.; Ranganathan, V.; Frost, N.; Hill, K.; Smith, M.; McConnell, E.; DeRosa, M.C.Comprehensive analytical comparison of strategies used for small molecule aptamer evaluation, Analytical Chemistry. 2015, 87 (17), 8608–8612.
  38. Chang, A.L.; McKeague, M.; Smolke, C.D. Facile characterization of aptamer kinetic and equilibrium binding properties using surface plasmon resonance In: Burke-Aguero, D., editor. Methods in Enzymology. 2014, 549, 451-466.
  39. McKeague, M.; DeRosa, M.C. Aptamers and SELEX: Tools for the development of transformative molecular recognition technology, Aptamers and Synthetic Antibodies. 2014, 1 (1), 12-16.
  40. McKeague, M.; Ranganathan, V.; Hill, K.; Bardozy, V.; Mezaros, T.; DeRosa, M.C. Selection and characterization of a novel DNA aptamer For label-free fluorescence biosensing of ochratoxin A, Toxins. 2014, 6 (8), 2435-2452.
  41. Chang A.L.; McKeague, M.; Liang, J.C.; Smolke, C.D. Kinetic and equilibrium binding characterization of aptamers to small molecules using a label-free, sensitive, and scalable Platform, Analytical Chemistry. 2014, 86 (7), 3273–3278.
  42. Mastronardi, E.; McKeague, M.; Monreal, C.; DeRosa, M.C. Development and application of crop exudate specific aptamers, Journal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics. 2013, 31 (1), 89.
  43. McKeague, M.; Foster, A.; Miguel, Y.; Giamberardino, A.; Verdin, C.; Chan, J.Y.; DeRosa, M.C. Development of a DNA aptamer for direct and selective homocysteine detection in human serum, RSC Advances. 2013, 3 (46), 24415-24422.
  44. McKeague, M.; DeRosa, M.C. Challenges and opportunities for small molecule aptamer development, Journal of Nucleic Acids. 2012.
  45. Cruz-Toledo, J.; McKeague, M.; Zhang, X.; Giamberardino, A.; McConnell, E.; Francis, T.; DeRosa, M.C.; Dumontier, M. Aptamer Base: A collaborative knowledge base to describe aptamers and SELEX experiments. Database: Journal of Biological Databases and Curation. 2012.
  46. McKeague, M.; Giamberardino, A.; DeRosa, M.C. Advances in aptamer-based biosensors for food safety, Environmental Biosensors. 2011, Vernon Somerset (Ed.) ISBN: 9789533074863, InTech. DOI:10.5772/22350
  47. De Girolamo, A.; McKeague, M.; Miller, J.D.; DeRosa, M.C.; Visconti, A. Determination of ochratoxin A in wheat after clean-up through a DNA aptamer-based solid phase extraction column. Food Chemistry. 2011, 127 (3), 1378-1384.
  48. McKeague, M.; Bradley, C.R.; De Girolamo, A.; Visconti, A.; Miller, J.D.; Derosa, M.C. Screening and initial binding assessment of fumonisin B(1) aptamers, International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2010, 11 (12), 4864-4881.
  49. Luo, X.; McKeague, M.; Pitre, S.; Dumontier, M.; Green, J.; Golshani, A.; Derosa, M.C.; Dehne, F. Computational approaches toward the design of pools for the in vitro selection of complex aptamers, RNA. 2010, 16 (11), 2252-2262.

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