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Selection of 2’F-modified RNA aptamers against prostate-specific antigen and their evaluation for diagnostic and therapeutic applications

Currently, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is considered to be the most sensitive marker available for prostate cancer detection and for monitoring of disease progression. In addition to its importance as a tumor marker, PSA has a role in the biological activity of cancer growth and proliferation. Therefore, the inhibition or activation of its biological activity may be used in prostate cancer therapy. Here, we describe the isolation and characterization of new 2′F-modified RNA aptamers directed against PSA. Binding studies demonstrate the ability of these new aptamers to specifically recognize their target with dissociation constants in the nanomolar range. In order to demonstrate the functionality of the selected aptamers, an apta-PCR approach was used for the quantitative detection of PSA, achieving a limit of detection of 11 nM. Furthermore, the potential use of the selected aptamers in therapeutics was demonstrated with the 2′F-modified aptamers being highly stable in human serum and having the ability to moderate the activity of PSA, which will be explored for the treatment of prostate cancer.

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