Research Papers:

Selection and characterization of DNA aptamer for metastatic prostate cancer recognition and tissue imaging

Minlan Duan, Yuqian Long, Cai Yang, Xiaoqiu Wu, Yang Sun, Jianglin Li, Xiaoxiao Hu, Wei Lin, Dongmei Han, Yifan Zhao, Jing Liu, Mao Ye and Weihong Tan _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:36436-36446. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.9262

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Minlan Duan1,*, Yuqian Long1,*, Cai Yang1,*, Xiaoqiu Wu1, Yang Sun1, Jianglin Li1, Xiaoxiao Hu1, Wei Lin1, Dongmei Han1, Yifan Zhao1, Jing Liu2, Mao Ye1, Weihong Tan1,3,4

1Molecular Science and Biomedicine Laboratory, State Key Laboratory for Chemo/Biosensing and Chemometrics, College of Biology, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Collaborative Innovation Center for Molecular Engineering for Theranostics, Hunan University, Changsha, Hunan 410082, China

2School of Life Sciences, State Key Laboratory of Medical Genetics, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410078, China

3Department of Chemistry, Center for Research at Bio/Nano Interface, University Health Cancer Center, University of Florida Genetics Institute and McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA

4Department of Physiology and Functional Genomics, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Weihong Tan, email: [email protected]

Mao Ye, email: [email protected]

Keywords: prostate cancer, aptamer, SELEX, metastasis, binding affinity

Received: January 28, 2016     Accepted: April 02, 2016     Published: May 10, 2016


Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second leading cause of death and most prevalent cancer in men. The absence of curative options for castration-resistant metastatic prostate cancer and biomarkers able to discriminate between indolent and aggressive tumors contribute to these statistics. In this study, a DNA aptamer termed DML-7 was successfully selected against human PCa cell line DU145 by using the cell-based systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX) method. The selected aptamer DML-7 was found to internalize into target cells in a temperature-dependent manner and exhibit high binding affinity for target cells with dissociation constants in the nanomolar range. Binding analysis further revealed that DML-7 only binds to DU145 and PC-3 cells with metastatic potential, but not to LNCaP or 22Rv1 cells with low or nonmetastatic potential, demonstrating that DML-7 has excellent selectivity for the recognition of the metastatic PCa cells. Clinical tissue imaging further confirmed these results. Therefore, both high binding affinity and specificity to metastatic PCa cells and tissues afford DML-7 with the potential for development into a novel tool for diagnosis and targeted drug delivery against metastatic prostate cancer.

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