RNA plasticity and selectivity applicable to therapeutics and novel biosensor development.

Department of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan.
Genes to Cells (Impact Factor: 2.73). 04/2012; 17(5):344-64. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2443.2012.01596.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Aptamers are short, single-stranded nucleic acid sequences that are selected in vitro from large oligonucleotide libraries based on their high affinity to a target molecule. Hence, aptamers can be thought of as a nucleic acid analog to antibodies. However, several viewpoints hold that the potential of aptamers arises from interesting characteristics that are distinct from, or in some cases, superior to those of antibodies. This review summarizes the recent achievements in aptamer programs developed in our laboratory against basic and therapeutic protein targets. Through these studies, we became aware of the remarkable conformational plasticity and selectivity of RNA, on which the published report has not shed much light even though this is evidently a crucial feature for the strong specificity and affinity of RNA aptamers.

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    ABSTRACT: In this review, we discuss recent advances in nucleic acid-based therapeutic technologies that target hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Because the HCV genome is present exclusively in RNA form during replication, various nucleic acid-based therapeutic approaches targeting the HCV genome, such as ribozymes, aptamers, siRNAs, and antisense oligonucleotides, have been suggested as potential tools against HCV. Nucleic acids are potentially immunogenic and typically require a delivery tool to be utilized as therapeutics. These limitations have hampered the clinical development of nucleic acid-based therapeutics. However, despite these limitations, nucleic acid-based therapeutics has clinical value due to their great specificity, easy and large-scale synthesis with chemical methods, and pharmaceutical flexibility. Moreover, nucleic acid therapeutics are expected to broaden the range of targetable molecules essential for the HCV replication cycle, and therefore they may prove to be more effective than existing therapeutics, such as interferon-α and ribavirin combination therapy. This review focuses on the current status and future prospects of ribozymes, aptamers, siRNAs, and antisense oligonucleotides as therapeutic reagents against HCV.
    World Journal of Gastroenterology 12/2013; 19(47):8949-8962. · 2.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aptamers are short single-stranded oligonucleotides that are capable of binding various molecules with high affinity and specificity. When the technology of aptamer selection was developed almost a quarter of a century ago, a suggestion was immediately put forward that it might be a revolutionary start into solving many problems associated with diagnostics and the therapy of diseases. However, multiple attempts to use aptamers in practice, although sometimes successful, have been generally much less efficient than had been expected initially. This review is mostly devoted not to the successful use of aptamers but to the problems impeding the widespread application of aptamers in diagnostics and therapy, as well as to approaches that could considerably expand the range of aptamer application.
    Acta naturae. 10/2013; 5(4):34-43.


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