Author(s): Stoltenburg R, Reinemann C, Strehlitz B
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Abstract SELEX stands for systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment. This method, described primarily in 1990 [Ellington, A.D., Szostak, J.W., 1990. In vitro selection of RNA molecules that bind specific ligands. Nature 346, 818-822; Tuerk, C., Gold, L., 1990. Systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment: RNA ligands to bacteriophage T4 DNA polymerase. Science 249, 505-510] aims at the development of aptamers, which are oligonucleotides (RNA or ssDNA) binding to their target with high selectivity and sensitivity because of their three-dimensional shape. Aptamers are all new ligands with a high affinity for considerably differing molecules ranging from large targets as proteins over peptides, complex molecules to drugs and organic small molecules or even metal ions. Aptamers are widely used, including medical and pharmaceutical basic research, drug development, diagnosis, and therapy. Analytical and separation tools bearing aptamers as molecular recognition and binding elements are another big field of application. Moreover, aptamers are used for the investigation of binding phenomena in proteomics. The SELEX method was modified over the years in different ways to become more efficient and less time consuming, to reach higher affinities of the aptamers selected and for automation of the process. This review is focused on the development of aptamers by use of SELEX and gives an overview about technologies, advantages, limitations, and applications of aptamers.
This article was published in Biomol Eng
and referenced in Biochemistry & Physiology: Open Access