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Macromolecular Interactions: Aptamers

  1. Christopher L Warren1,
  2. Appesh Mohandas2,
  3. Ishan Chaturvedi3,
  4. Aseem Z Ansari2

Published Online: 15 SEP 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0003146

eLS

eLS

How to Cite

Warren, C. L., Mohandas, A., Chaturvedi, I. and Ansari, A. Z. 2009. Macromolecular Interactions: Aptamers. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    VistaMotif LLC, Madison, Wisconsin, USA

  2. 2

    University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA

  3. 3

    Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2009

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (16 JUN 2014)

Abstract

Aptamers are composed of nucleic acids or peptides and target many types of different molecules, including proteins and ligands, such as hormones and antibiotics. Nucleic acid aptamers can adopt diverse structures, including G-quadruplexes, bubbles, bulges, multiway junctions and pseudoknots. Aptamers have been developed against a multitude of proteins and small molecules. The versatility of aptamers to recognize nearly any biomolecule in a very specific manner makes them effective as diagnostic tools and attractive as potential therapeutics. Currently, the systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX) technique is the standard method to isolate an aptamer to a specific molecule. However, recent advances in microarrays offer much potential for isolating aptamers in a more efficient and effective method than SELEX.

Key Concepts

  • Aptamers are nucleic acids or peptides designed to target a wide variety of molecules such as proteins and small molecules such as hormones and antibiotics, with exquisite precision.

  • Nucleic acid aptamers can adopt diverse structures, including G-quadruplexes, bubbles, bulges, multiway junctions and pseudoknots.

  • Aptamers have been developed against a multitude of proteins and small molecules; an abridged table is included in this article.

  • The versatility of aptamers to recognize nearly any biomolecule in a very specific manner makes them effective as diagnostic tools and attractive as potential therapeutics.

  • Systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX) technique is the standard method to isolate an aptamer to a specific molecule.

  • Recent advances in microarrays present a new method for isolating aptamers in a potentially more efficient and effective manner than SELEX.

Keywords:

  • aptamers;
  • SELEX;
  • diagnostics;
  • therapeutics;
  • microarray