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Nature. 1992 Feb 6;355(6360):564-6.

Selection of single-stranded DNA molecules that bind and inhibit human thrombin.

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Gilead Sciences Inc., Foster City, California 94404.


Aptamers are double-stranded DNA or single-stranded RNA molecules that bind specific molecular targets. Large randomly generated populations can be enriched in aptamers by in vitro selection and polymerase chain reaction. But so far single-stranded DNA has not been investigated for aptamer properties, nor has a target protein been considered that does not interact physiologically with nucleic acid. Here we describe the isolation of single-stranded DNA aptamers to the protease thrombin of the blood coagulation cascade and report binding affinities in the range 25-200 nM. Sequence data from 32 thrombin aptamers, selected from a pool of DNA containing 60 nucleotides of random sequence, displayed a highly conserved 14-17-base region. Several of these aptamers at nanomolar concentrations inhibited thrombin-catalysed fibrin-clot formation in vitro using either purified fibrinogen or human plasma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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