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Biochimie. 2012 Jan;94(1):250-7. doi: 10.1016/j.biochi.2011.10.017. Epub 2011 Nov 6.

Selection of RNA aptamers against mouse embryonic stem cells.

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Division of Molecular Biology, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Shirokanedai, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan.


Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are capable of unlimited self-renewal and differentiation into multiple cell types. Recent large-scale analyses have identified various cell surface molecules on ESCs. Some of them are considered to be beneficial markers for characterization of cellular phenotypes and/or play an essential role for regulating the differentiation state. Thus, it is desired to efficiently produce affinity reagents specific to these molecules. In this study, to develop such reagents for mouse ESCs (mESCs), we selected RNA aptamers against intact, live mESCs using several selection strategies. The initial selection provided us with several anti-mESC aptamers of distinct sequences, which unexpectedly react with the same molecule on mESCs. Then, to isolate aptamers against different surface markers on mESCs, one of the selected aptamers was used as a competitor in the subsequent selections. In addition, one of the selections further employed negative selection against differentiated mouse cells. Consequently, we successfully isolated three classes of anti-mESC aptamers that do not compete with one another. The isolated aptamers were shown to distinguish mESCs from differentiated mouse cell lines and trace the differentiation process of mESCs. These aptamers could prove useful for developing molecular probes and manipulation tools for mESCs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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