Aptamer

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An aptamer is a nucleic acid that binds a target molecule.

 

Comparison to Antibodies

Like antibodies, RNA aptamers can be extremely specific to a target and are capable of discriminating between closely related molecules. RNA aptamers and antibodies can be generated to bind a similarly diverse array of targets. Antibodies, however, are composed of protein and must be produced by the immune cells of a living organism. Novel aptamers can be selected quicky in vitro and amplified by PCR.

Aptamer 1FMN.jpg

 

Selection of Aptamers

RNA aptamers are generated by selection. The selection process begins with a large library of random sequences and removes RNAs that do not bind the target or bind nonspecifically. The selected RNAs are isolated, reverse-transcribed, amplified, and the process is repeated.
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Teaching about Aptamers

Aptamers and bonuses by Nando

Riboswitches and science on coffee by Eli Fisker

The nuts and bolts of the genius behind aptamers - the future for drug delivery

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