Aptamers—basic research, drug development, and clinical applications
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- Proske, D., Blank, M., Buhmann, R. et al. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol (2005) 69: 367. doi:10.1007/s00253-005-0193-5
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Since its discovery in the early 1990s, aptamer technology has progressed tremendously. Automated selection procedures now allow rapid identification of DNA and RNA sequences that can target a broad range of extra- and intracellular proteins with nanomolar affinities and high specificities. The unique binding properties of nucleic acids, which are amenable to various modifications, make aptamers perfectly suitable for different areas of biotechnology. Moreover, the approval of an aptamer for vascular endothelial growth factor by the US Food and Drug Administration highlights the potential of aptamers for therapeutic applications. This review summarizes recent developments and demonstrates that aptamers are valuable tools for diagnostics, purification processes, target validation, drug discovery, and even therapeutic approaches.