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Molecules 2018, 23(4), 830; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23040830

Applications of Cancer Cell-Specific Aptamers in Targeted Delivery of Anticancer Therapeutic Agents

1
Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Konkuk University, Seoul 05029, Korea
2
Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science, Konyang University, Daejeon 35365, Korea
3
Department of Emergency Medicine Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong, Seoul 05278, Korea
These two authors contributed equally.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 March 2018 / Revised: 30 March 2018 / Accepted: 2 April 2018 / Published: 4 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nucleic Acid Aptamers)
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Abstract

Aptamers are single-stranded oligonucleotides that specifically bind and interact with their corresponding targets, including proteins and cells, through unique three-dimensional structures. Numerous aptamers have been developed to target cancer biomarkers with high specificity and affinity, and some are employed as versatile guiding ligands for cancer-specific drug delivery and anti-cancer therapeutics. In this review, we list the aptamers that target tumor surface biomarkers and summarize the representative applications of aptamers as agonists and antagonists that activate anti-cancer and inactivate pro-cancer biomarkers, respectively. In addition, we describe applications of aptamer-drug or aptamer-oligonucleotide conjugates that can deliver therapeutic agents, including small interfering RNAs, micro RNAs, short hairpin RNAs, and chemotherapeutic molecules, to cancer cells. Moreover, we provide examples of aptamer- conjugated nano-vehicles, in which cancer-targeting oligonucleotide aptamers are conjugated with nano-vehicles such as liposomes, micelles, polymeric nanoparticles, and quantum dots. Conjugation of aptamers with anti-cancer drugs and nano-vehicles will facilitate innovative applications of aptamer-based cancer therapeutics. View Full-Text
Keywords: aptamer; targeted delivery; targeted cancer therapy; aptamer conjugates aptamer; targeted delivery; targeted cancer therapy; aptamer conjugates
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Kim, M.; Kim, D.-M.; Kim, K.-S.; Jung, W.; Kim, D.-E. Applications of Cancer Cell-Specific Aptamers in Targeted Delivery of Anticancer Therapeutic Agents. Molecules 2018, 23, 830.

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