Going live with aptamers
Researchers at the Duke University School of Medicine think they have improved upon a 20-year-old technology for selecting target-specific aptamers in vitro by making it work in vivo.1 Using the approach, the group identified an RNA aptamer that binds to a tumor-associated nuclear protein. The technique could simplify the generation of molecular probes and aid in target discovery and therapeutic development.
Aptamers are single strands of DNA or RNA that can bind to proteins and other molecular targets. Generation of tumor-targeting aptamers currently relies on in vitro approaches like SELEX (systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment), in which aptamers from a library undergo iterative rounds of in vitro selection based on their ability to bind defined tumor