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: 2.86). 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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