A high-affinity RNA aptamer to human activated protein C (APC) was selected from a pool of random sequences using in vitro selection. Activated protein C, a trypsin-like serine protease plays an important role along with thrombin as a regulator in blood clotting cascade. After seven rounds of selection and amplification, a single predominant nucleic acid sequence APC-167, a 167-base oligonucleotide with a random sequence core of 120 bases, was obtained. The selected aptamer did not bind to thrombin or factor Xa and thus demonstrated specificity to APC. Furthermore, this aptamer was a non-competitive inhibitor to the cleavage reaction of a fluorogenic substrate catalyzed by APC. The inhibition constant (Ki) of APC-167 was 83 nM. The 99-base oligonucleotide (APC-99) derived from APC-167 by deleting both primer binding sites, was also found to inhibit APC strongly (Ki = 137 nM). Two stem-loop structures and at least one G U wobble base pair in the stem were elucidated as important structural motifs for binding.