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Biochemistry. 1998 Nov 24;37(47):16489-93.

Novel combinatorial selection of phosphorothioate oligonucleotide aptamers.

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  • 1Sealy Center for Structural Biology, Department of Human Biological Chemistry & Genetics, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston 77555-1157, USA.


A novel combinatorial approach is described for construction and screening of enhanced nuclease-resistant phosphorothioate DNA "decoys" or "aptamers." Aptamers have been selected that bind tightly to the nuclear factor for human IL6 (NF-IL6), a basic leucine zipper transcription factor involved in the induction of acute-phase responsive and cytokine gene promotors in response to inflammation. Using a random combinatorial selection approach and dNTP(alphaS)'s in the PCR amplification, we can select specific thio-substituted agents which have the highest specificity in binding to target NF-IL6. Using a 22-nucleotide-long duplex random library, nanomolar binding, specific 22-mer thiophosphate backbone substitution sequences (at dA positions only) were selected. These show a different consensus sequence than normal phosphate backbone CCAAT/enhancer binding protein recognition sites for NF-IL6. Unlike the wild-type 10-mer sequences, which bind 1 protein dimer/duplex, these 22-mer thiophosphate aptamers bind with a stoichiometry of 2 dimers/duplex.

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