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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Jun 25;99(13):8898-902. Epub 2002 Jun 17.

In vivo properties of an anti-GnRH Spiegelmer: an example of an oligonucleotide-based therapeutic substance class.

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  • 1NOXXON Pharma AG, Gustav-Meyer-Allee 25, 13355 Berlin, Germany.


Spiegelmers are high-affinity l-enantiomeric oligonucleotide ligands that display high resistance to enzymatic degradation compared with d-oligonucleotides. The target binding properties of Spiegelmers can be designed by an in vitro-selection process starting from a random pool of oligonucleotides. Applying this method, a Spiegelmer with high affinity (K(D) = 20 nM) for the peptide hormone, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) was isolated. The Spiegelmer acts as an antagonist to GnRH in Chinese hamster ovary cells stably expressing the human GnRH receptor, and its activity is unchanged by linking to 40-kDa polyethylene glycol. In a castrated rat model the Spiegelmer further demonstrated strong GnRH antagonist activity, which is more pronounced and persists longer with the polyethylene glycol-linked derivative. Furthermore, in rabbits the anti-GnRH Spiegelmer was shown to have a very low, possibly negligible immunogenic potential. These studies suggest that Spiegelmers could be of substantial interest in the development of new pharmaceutical approaches against GnRH and other targets.

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