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Improvement of aptamer affinity by dimerization

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To increase the affinities of aptamers for their targets, we designed an aptamer dimer for thrombin and VEGF. This design is based on the avidity of the antibody, which enables the aptamer to connect easily since it is a single-strand nucleic acid. In this study, we connected a 15-mer thrombin-binding aptamer with a 29-mer thrombin-binding aptamer. Each aptamer recognizes a different part of the thrombin molecule, and the aptamer dimer has a Kd value which is 1/10 of that of the monomers from which it is composed. Also, the designed aptamer dimer has higher inhibitory activity than the reported (15-mer) thrombin-inhibiting aptamer. Additionally, we connected together two identical aptamers against vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF 165), which is a homodimeric protein. As in the case of the anti-thrombin aptamer, the dimeric anti-VEGF aptamer had a much lower TQ value than that of the monomer. This study demonstrated that the dimerization of aptamers effectively improves the affinities of those aptamers for their targets. © 2008 by MDPI.

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Hasegawa, H., Taira, K. I., Sode, K., & Ikebukuro, K. (2008). Improvement of aptamer affinity by dimerization. Sensors, 8(2), 1090–1098.

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