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Selection and characterization of RNA aptamers to the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase from foot-and-mouth disease virus

Foot-and-mouth disease virus causes a highly contagious disease of agricultural livestock and is of enormous economic importance. Replication of the RNA genome of the virus, via negative strand intermediates, involves an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (3Dpol). RNA aptamers specific to this enzyme have been selected and characterized. Some of these molecules inhibit enzymatic activity in vitro, with IC50 values of <20 nM and Ki values of 18-75 nM. Two of these show similarity, both with each other and with regions of the viral genome. Furthermore, truncated versions of one of the aptamers have been used to define the parts of the molecule responsible for its inhibitory activity.

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