Deregulation of kinase function has been implicated in several important diseases, including cancer, neurological and metabolic disorders. Because of their key role in causing disease, kinases have become one of the most intensively pursued classes of drug targets. To date, several monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and small-molecule inhibitors have been approved for the treatment of cancer. Aptamers are short structured single stranded RNA or DNA ligands that bind at high affinity to their target molecules and are now emerging as promising molecules to target specific cancer epitopes in clinical diagnosis and therapy. Further, because of their high specificity and low toxicity aptamers will likely reveal among the most promising molecules for in vivo targeted recognition as therapeutics or delivery agents for nanoparticles, small interfering RNAs bioconjugates, chemotherapeutic cargos and molecular imaging probes.
In this article, we discuss recent advances in the development of aptamers targeting kinase proteins.