Metastatic recurrence is the most important biological behavior of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and the main cause of treatment failure. Early prediction of metastasis is currently impossible due to the lack of specific molecular probes to recognize metastatic HCC cells. Aptamers have recently emerged as promising potential molecular probes for biomedical applications. Two well-matched HCC cell lines including HCCLM9 with high metastatic potential and MHCC97-L with low metastatic potential, were used to select aptamers for HCC metastasis. With a whole-cell-SELEX strategy, in which HCCLM9 cells were used as target cells and MHCC97-L cells as subtractive cell, 6 potential aptamers had been generated. Detailed study on selected aptamer LY-1 revealed that it could bind metastatic HCC cells with high affinity and specificity, not only in cells culture and animal models of HCC metastasis, but also in clinical HCC specimens. Moreover, the aptamer LY-1 and magnetic particles conjugates could efficiently capture the HCC cells from complex mixture whole blood. These studies demonstrated that this HCC specific aptamer LY-1 could be a promising molecular probe to recognize metastatic HCC cells. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Wang, F. B., Rong, Y., Fang, M., Yuan, J. P., Peng, C. W., Liu, S. P., & Li, Y. (2013). Recognition and capture of metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma cells using aptamer-conjugated quantum dots and magnetic particles. Biomaterials, 34(15), 3816–3827. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biomaterials.2013.02.018