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Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci. 2009;90:369-95. doi: 10.1016/S1877-1173(09)90010-2. Epub 2009 Oct 27.

RNA aptamers to translational components.

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Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.


Potential applications for functional RNAs are rapidly expanding, not only to address functions based on primary nucleotide sequences, but also by RNA aptamers, which can suppress the activity of any target molecule. Aptamers are short DNA or RNA folded molecules that can be selected in vitro on the basis of their high affinity for a target molecule. Here, we summarize RNA aptamers selected against human translation initiation factors, and their superior potentials to recognize and inhibit their target proteins. Importantly, the high affinity of RNA aptamers to proteins without RNA recognition motifs or intrinsic, strong affinity to RNA is achieved through the capture of the protein's global conformation. In other words, RNA has a high potential to form a vast set of tertiary structures, which we would like to refer to as 'RNA plasticity'. This provides us with a solid and promising basis to take steps to create novel RNA molecules of therapeutic potential with distinct structures, which should be equivalent or superior to antibodies.

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