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      Is Open Access

      Selection of Nucleic Acid Aptamers Targeting Tumor Cell-Surface Protein Biomarkers

      , , *

      Cancers

      MDPI

      aptamer, SELEX, cell-surface biomarker

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          Abstract

          Aptamers are nucleic acids referred to as chemical antibodies as they bind to their specific targets with high affinity and selectivity. They are selected via an iterative process known as ‘selective evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment’ (SELEX). Aptamers have been developed against numerous cancer targets and among them, many tumor cell-membrane protein biomarkers. The identification of aptamers targeting cell-surface proteins has mainly been performed by two different strategies: protein- and cell-based SELEX, when the targets used for selection were proteins and cells, respectively. This review aims to update the literature on aptamers targeting tumor cell surface protein biomarkers, highlighting potentials, pitfalls of protein- and cell-based selection processes and applications of such selected molecules. Aptamers as promising agents for diagnosis and therapeutic approaches in oncology are documented, as well as aptamers in clinical development.

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          Most cited references 195

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          Systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment: RNA ligands to bacteriophage T4 DNA polymerase.

          High-affinity nucleic acid ligands for a protein were isolated by a procedure that depends on alternate cycles of ligand selection from pools of variant sequences and amplification of the bound species. Multiple rounds exponentially enrich the population for the highest affinity species that can be clonally isolated and characterized. In particular one eight-base region of an RNA that interacts with the T4 DNA polymerase was chosen and randomized. Two different sequences were selected by this procedure from the calculated pool of 65,536 species. One is the wild-type sequence found in the bacteriophage mRNA; one is varied from wild type at four positions. The binding constants of these two RNA's to T4 DNA polymerase are equivalent. These protocols with minimal modification can yield high-affinity ligands for any protein that binds nucleic acids as part of its function; high-affinity ligands could conceivably be developed for any target molecule.
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            Aptamers as targeted therapeutics: current potential and challenges

            Nucleic acid aptamers offer several advantages over traditional antibodies, but their clinical translation has been delayed by several factors, including insufficient potency, lack of safety data and high production costs. Here, Zhou and Rossi provide an overview of aptamer generation, focusing on recent technological advances and clinical development, as well as challenges and lessons learned.
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              Discovery and development of the G-rich oligonucleotide AS1411 as a novel treatment for cancer.

              Certain guanine-rich (G-rich) DNA and RNA molecules can associate intermolecularly or intramolecularly to form four stranded or "quadruplex" structures, which have unusual biophysical and biological properties. Several synthetic G-rich quadruplex-forming oligodeoxynucleotides have recently been investigated as therapeutic agents for various human diseases. We refer to these biologically active G-rich oligonucleotides as aptamers because their activities arise from binding to protein targets via shape-specific recognition (analogous to antibody-antigen binding). As therapeutic agents, the G-rich aptamers may have some advantages over monoclonal antibodies and other oligonucleotide-based approaches. For example, quadruplex oligonucleotides are non-immunogenic, heat stable and they have increased resistance to serum nucleases and enhanced cellular uptake compared to unstructured sequences. In this review, we describe the characteristics and activities of G-rich oligonucleotides. We also give a personal perspective on the discovery and development of AS1411, an antiproliferative G-rich phosphodiester oligonucleotide that is currently being tested as an anticancer agent in Phase II clinical trials. This molecule functions as an aptamer to nucleolin, a multifunctional protein that is highly expressed by cancer cells, both intracellularly and on the cell surface. Thus, the serendipitous discovery of the G-rich oligonucleotides also led to the identification of nucleolin as a new molecular target for cancer therapy.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Academic Editor
                Journal
                Cancers (Basel)
                Cancers (Basel)
                cancers
                Cancers
                MDPI
                2072-6694
                21 June 2017
                June 2017
                : 9
                : 6
                Affiliations
                UMR 7213 CNRS, Laboratoire de Biophotonique et Pharmacologie, Tumoral Signaling and Therapeutic Targets, Université de Strasbourg, Faculté de Pharmacie, 67401 Illkirch, France; marie-cecile.mercier@ 123456unistra.fr (M.-C.M.); monique.dontenwill@ 123456unistra.fr (M.D.)
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: laurence.choulier@ 123456unistra.fr ; Tel.: +33-36885-4197; Fax: +33-36885-4313
                Article
                cancers-09-00069
                10.3390/cancers9060069
                5483888
                28635657
                © 2017 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                Categories
                Review

                cell-surface biomarker, aptamer, selex

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