Academic Papers

Distinguishing closely-related amyloid precursors using an RNA aptamer

1 August 2014

This paper describes an aptamer capable of discriminating between monomeric human β2-microglobulin and its closely related amyloidogenic counterpart. Studies reveal that the aptamer alters the kinetics of co-polymerization of the two proteins, suggesting the potential of RNA aptamers as tools for studying the mechanisms of amyloid formation as well as being able to interfere in disease associated processes.

Selection of 2’F-modified RNA aptamers against prostate-specific antigen and their evaluation for diagnostic and therapeutic applications

1 November 2013

A RNA Aptamer selection against what is widely considered to be the most fundamental marker for prostate cancer detection; prostate-specific antigen (PSA).  Incorporation of modified nucleotides has made the aptamer highly staple in serum, allowing for a limit of detection as low of 11 nM of PSA, hopefully leading to possible future treatment for prostate cancer.

An RNA aptamer provides a novel approach for the induction of apoptosis by targeting the HPV16 E7 oncoprotein.

30 May 2013

RNA aptamers targeting the E7 protein of Human papillomavirus 16 were shown to induce apoptosis in cells infected with HPV-16. This suggests a possible future anti-viral agent for the treatment and study of one of the instrumental agents of cervical cancer.

Toggled RNA aptamers against aminoglycosides allowing facile detection of antibiotics using gold nanoparticle assays

7 August 2012

Aminoglycoside antibiotics are commonly used to treat livestock for a range of bacterial infections. However, they are also toxic to humans when in sufficient amounts. For this reason it is important to screen for these compounds in food stuffs. Here aptamers were selected against several combinations of Aminoglycosides to produce panel of ‘class specific’ aptamers for broad detection of multiple residues. These Aptamers were conjugated to gold nanoparticles to generate a simple colour change assay, demonstrating the potential for use as a rapid and cheap detection kit.

 Generation of neutralizing aptamers against herpes simplex virus type 2: potential components of multivalent microbicides

1 July 2011

This paper describes the isolation of RNA aptamers against a critical binding protein used by Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), to infect human cells. The aptamers showed the ability to specifically recognise HSV1 (but not the closely related HSV2) and inhibit viral entry. This suggests a possible future use of aptamers in a microbicide.

Effects of single nucleotide changes on the binding and activity of RNA aptamers to human papillomavirus 16 E7 oncoprotein

18 February 2011

Several RNA aptamers were generated against the Human papillomavirus E7 oncoprotien, which has been identified as a key causative agent of cervical cancer. Here, studies demonstrated the effects of minor aptamer variants and their ability to disrupting interactions between E7 and is major binding partner pRb. Effects of single nucleotide changes on the binding and activity of RNA aptamers to human papillomavirus 16 E7 oncoprotein.

Development of aptamer therapeutics

1 October 2010

A key review paper on the on the ever growing field of Aptamer therapeutics; evaluating the range of uses as diagnostic and curative agents. Highlighting the process involved in development and isolation of aptamers as therapeutic agents addressing specific commercial examples such as Macugen.

Characterization of RNA aptamers that disrupt the RUNX1-CBFbeta/DNA complex

1 November 2009

Development of aptamers against key proteins can help to further research into understanding complex diseases such as cancer. In this paper RNA aptamers were isolated against the leukaemia associated DNA binding protein, RUNX1. These aptamers were shown to bind with high affinity and disrupt interactions between RUNX1 and its target DNA binding sequence in both a purified protein and a crude nuclear extract. This suggests a role for aptamers in the study of proteins and protein complexes and their involvement in disease.

Production and characterization of RNA aptamers specific for amyloid fibril epitopes

23 November 2007

More than 20 human diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, have been linked with the deposition of insoluble, misfolded proteins (collectively referred to as amyloidoses). This paper describes the isolation and characterisation of RNA aptamers against the amyloid fibrils associated with dialysis-related amyloidosis. These aptamers demonstrated the ability to discriminate between native and amyloid conformations of the target, as well as recognising material from patient tissue samples. This demonstrates the ability of aptamers to discriminate between different folds of the same amino acid sequence.

Selection and characterization of RNA aptamers to the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase from foot-and-mouth disease virus

1 November 2006

Foot and mouth disease is a well document viral disease known to have cost the UK economy approximately £8 billion in the 2001 outbreak. Due to its economic impact, RNA aptamers were developed to serve as research tools against key viral proteins. Here a high affinity aptamer (18-75nM) against the viral RNA polymerase demonstrated an inhibitory effect, suggesting possible use as research tools or even potentially as a therapeutic.

Aptamers come of age – at last

1 August 2006

A short introductory literature review of Aptamers since their inception in the 1990s; highlighting the use of aptamers in the areas such as diagnostics, therapeutics and research regents. This article underlines some of the benefits of Aptamers over antibodies including their ability to be chemical synthesised instead of requiring animals and relative ease with which they can be modified to extend their half-life in biological fluids.