Peptide Aptamers: Specific Inhibitors of Protein Function
Felix Hoppe-Seyler, Irena Crnkovic-Mertens, Evangelia Tomai and Karin Butz
Affiliation: DeutschesKrebsforschungszentrum, Programm Infektion und Krebs, ImNeuenheimer Feld 242, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Keywords: peptide aptamers, yeast two-hybrid, protein-protein interaction, protein therapy, protein transduction, drug design, protein array
In recent years, peptide aptamers have emerged as novel molecular tools that are useful for both basic and applied aspects of molecular medicine. Due to their ability to specifically bind to and inactivate a given target protein at the intracellular level, they provide a new experimental strategy for functional protein analyses, both in vitro and in vivo. In addition, by using peptide aptamers as “pertubagens”, they can be employed for genetic analyses, in order to identify biochemical pathways, and their components, that are associated with the induction of distinct cellular phenotypes. Furthermore, peptide aptamers may be developed into diagnostic tools for the detection of a given target protein or for the generation of high-throughput protein arrays. Finally, the peptide aptamer technology has direct therapeutic implications. Peptide aptamers can be used in order to validate therapeutic targets at the intracellular level. Moreover, the peptide aptamer molecules themselves should possess therapeutic potential, both as lead structures for drug design and as a basis for the development of protein drugs.
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