Nucleic Acid Aptamers for Molecular Diagnostics and Therapeutics: Advances and Perspectives.


Li L(1), Xu S(1)(2), Yan H(1)(2), Li X(1), Yazd HS(1), Li X(1), Huang T(1), Cui C(2)(3), Jiang J(2), Tan W(1)(2)(4).
Author information:
(1)Department of Chemistry and Physiology and Functional Genomics, Center for Research at the Bio/Nano Interface, Health Cancer Center, UF Genetics Institute, McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, 32611, USA.
(2)Molecular Science and Biomedicine Laboratory
(MBL), State Key Laboratory of Chemo/Biosensing and Chemometrics, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, College of Biology, Aptamer Engineering Center of Hunan Province, Hunan University, Changsha, 410082, China.
(3)Institute of Cancer and Basic Medicine
(IBMC), Chinese Academy of Sciences, The Cancer Hospital of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, 310022, China.
(4)Institute of Molecular Medicine
(IMM), Renji Hospital, State Key Laboratory of Oncogenes and Related Genes, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, and College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, 200240, China.


The advent of SELEX (systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment) technology has shown the ability to evolve artificial ligands with affinity and specificity able to meet growing clinical demand for probes that can, for example, distinguish between the target leukemia cells and other cancer cells within the matrix of heterogeneity, which characterizes cancer cells. Though antibodies are the conventional and ideal choice as a molecular recognition tool for many applications, aptamers complement the use of antibodies due to many unique advantages, such as small size, low cost, and facile chemical modification. This Minireview will focus on the novel applications of aptamers and SELEX, as well as opportunities to develop molecular tools able to meet future clinical needs in biomedicine.