In vitro evolution of chemically-modified nucleic acid aptamers: Pros & cons, and comprehensive selection strategies.

RNA biology

PubMedID: 27715478

Lipi F, Chen S, Chakravarthy M, Rakesh S, Veedu RN. In vitro evolution of chemically-modified nucleic acid aptamers: Pros & cons, and comprehensive selection strategies. RNA Biol. 2016;0.
Nucleic acid aptamers are single-stranded DNA or RNA oligonucleotide sequences that bind to a specific target molecule with high affinity and specificity through their ability to adopt three-dimensional structure in solution. Aptamers have huge potential as targeted therapeutics, diagnostics, delivery agents and as biosensors. However, aptamers composed of natural nucleotide monomers are quickly degraded in vivo and show poor pharmacodynamics properties. To overcome this, chemically-modified nucleic acid aptamers are developed by incorporating modified nucleotides after or during the selection process by Systematic Evolution of Ligands by EXponential enrichment (SELEX). This review will discuss the development of chemically-modified aptamers and provide the pros and cons, and new insights on in vitro aptamer selection strategies by using chemically-modified nucleic acid libraries.