Frank J Hernandez

Learn More
A 15-mer DNA aptamer (named TBA) adopts a G-quadruplex structure that strongly inhibits fibrin-clot formation by binding to thrombin. We have performed thermodynamic analysis, binding affinity and biological activity studies of TBA variants modified by unlocked nucleic acid (UNA) monomers. UNA-U placed in position U3, U7 or U12 increases the thermodynamic(More)
Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) expression in breast cancer is associated with an aggressive phenotype and poor prognosis, making it an appealing therapeutic target. Trastuzumab, an HER2 antibody-based inhibitor, is currently the leading targeted treatment for HER2(+)-breast cancers. Unfortunately, many patients inevitably develop resistance(More)
RNA aptamers represent an emerging class of pharmaceuticals with great potential for targeted cancer diagnostics and therapy. Several RNA aptamers that bind cancer cell-surface antigens with high affinity and specificity have been described. However, their clinical potential has yet to be realized. A significant obstacle to the clinical adoption of RNA(More)
Many cell surface signaling receptors, such as the neurotrophin receptor, TrkB, have emerged as potential therapeutic targets for diverse diseases. Reduced activation of TrkB in particular is thought to contribute to neurodegenerative diseases. Unfortunately, development of therapeutic reagents that selectively activate particular cell surface receptors(More)
Staphylococcus aureus is a prominent bacterial pathogen that causes a diverse range of acute and chronic infections. Recently, it has been demonstrated that the secreted nuclease (Nuc) enzyme is a virulence factor in multiple models of infection, and in vivo expression of nuc has facilitated the development of an infection imaging approach based on(More)
The pelagic brown alga Sargassum forms an oasis of biodiversity and productivity in an otherwise featureless ocean surface. The vast pool of oil resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill came into contact with a large portion of the Gulf of Mexico's floating Sargassum mats. Aerial surveys performed during and after the oil spill show compelling(More)
Cell-targeted therapies (smart drugs), which selectively control cancer cell progression with limited toxicity to normal cells, have been developed to effectively treat some cancers. However, many cancers such as metastatic prostate cancer (PC) have yet to be treated with current smart drug technology. Here, we describe the thorough preclinical(More)
Artificial RNA reagents such as small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and aptamers often must be chemically modified for optimal effectiveness in environments that include ribonucleases. Mycoplasmas are common bacterial contaminants of mammalian cell cultures that are known to produce ribonucleases. Here we describe the rapid degradation of nuclease-stabilized(More)
Recent clinical trials of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) highlight the need for robust delivery technologies that will facilitate the successful application of these therapeutics to humans. Arguably, cell targeting by conjugation to cell-specific ligands provides a viable solution to this problem. Synthetic RNA ligands (aptamers) represent an emerging(More)
Optical spectroscopy of a single gold nanoparticle, functionalized with an aptamer, is used to sense the specific binding of avidin. Herewith, the field of single noble metal nanoparticle biosensors is extended to the important field of aptamer based assays. The sensitivity of this initial, but not yet optimized apta-nano-sensor is in the range of 20 nM.(More)