Highly specific and tight-binding nucleic acid aptamers have been selected against a variety of molecular targets for over 20
years. A significant proportion of these oligonucleotides display G-quadruplex structures, particularly for DNA aptamers, that enable molecular
recognition of their ligands. G-quadruplex structures couple a common scaffold to varying loop motifs that act in target recognition.
Here, we review DNA G-quadruplex aptamers and their ligands from a structural and functional perspective. We compare the diversity
of DNA G-quadruplex aptamers selected against multiple ligand targets, and consider structure with a particular focus on dissecting
the thrombin binding aptamer – thrombin interaction. Therapeutic and analytical applications of DNA G-quadruplex aptamers are also
discussed. Understanding DNA G-quadruplex aptamers carries implications not only for therapeutics and diagnostics, but also in the
natural biochemistry of guanine-rich nucleic acids.
Keywords: G-quadruplex, aptamer, thrombin, sclerostin, G-quartet, G4 tetrad, SELEX, deoxyribozyme, fibrinogen, fluorescent resonance.
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Published on: 15 March, 2012
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