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Pharmaceuticals 2012, 5(5), 493-513; doi:10.3390/ph5050493

Selecting Molecular Recognition. What Can Existing Aptamers Tell Us about Their Inherent Recognition Capabilities and Modes of Interaction?

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33101, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 March 2012 / Revised: 19 April 2012 / Accepted: 10 May 2012 / Published: 18 May 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aptamer-Based Therapeutics)
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Abstract

The use of nucleic acid derived aptamers has rapidly expanded since the introduction of SELEX in 1990. Nucleic acid aptamers have demonstrated their ability to target a broad range of molecules in ways that rival antibodies, but advances have been very uneven for different biochemical classes of targets, and clinical applications have been slow to emerge. What sets different aptamers apart from each other and from rivaling molecular recognition platforms, specifically proteins? What advantages do aptamers as a reagent class offer, and how do the chemical properties and selection procedures of aptamers influence their function? Do the building blocks of nucleic acid aptamers dictate inherent limitations in the nature of molecular targets, and do existing aptamers give us insight in how these challenges might be overcome? This review is written as an introduction for potential endusers of aptamer technology who are evaluating the advantages of aptamers as a versatile, affordable, yet highly expandable platform to target a broad range of biological processes or interactions.
Keywords: aptamers; molecular recognition; nucleic acids aptamers; molecular recognition; nucleic acids
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, Q.; Landgraf, R. Selecting Molecular Recognition. What Can Existing Aptamers Tell Us about Their Inherent Recognition Capabilities and Modes of Interaction? Pharmaceuticals 2012, 5, 493-513.

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