Author(s): Zhao N, Pei SN, Parekh P, Salazar E, Zu Y
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Abstract To investigate the potential clinical application of aptamers to prevention of HIV infection, single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) aptamers specific for CD4 were developed using the systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment approach and next generation sequencing. In contrast to RNA-based aptamers, the developed ssDNA aptamers were stable in human serum up to 12h. Cell binding assays revealed that the aptamers specifically targeted CD4-expressing cells with high binding affinity (Kd=1.59nM), a concentration within the range required for therapeutic application. Importantly, the aptamers selectively bound CD4 on human cells and disrupted the interaction of viral gp120 to CD4 receptors, which is a prerequisite step of HIV-1 infection. Functional studies showed that the aptamer polymers significantly blocked binding of viral gp120 to CD4-expressing cells by up to 70\% inhibition. These findings provide a new approach to prevent HIV-1 transmission using oligonucleotide aptamers. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Int J Biochem Cell Biol
and referenced in Journal of Molecular Biomarkers & Diagnosis