A Cholecystokinin B Receptor-Specific DNA Aptamer for Targeting Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma
Aptamers are high affinity single-stranded DNA/RNA molecules, produced by a combinatorial procedure named SELEX (Systematic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential enrichment), that are emerging as promising diagnostic and therapeutic tools. Among selection strategies, procedures using living cells as complex targets (referred as "cell-SELEX") have been developed as an effective mean to generate aptamers for heavily modified cell surface proteins, assuring the binding of the target in its native conformation. Here we give an up-to-date overview on cell-SELEX technology, discussing the most recent advances with a particular focus on cancer cell targeting. Examples of the different protocol applications and post-SELEX strategies will be briefly outlined.