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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 23-32

Evolution of specific RNA aptamers via SELEX targeting recombinant human CD36 protein: A candidate therapeutic target in severe malaria

Institute for Research in Molecular Medicine (INFORMM), Health Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia

Correspondence Address:
Khairul Mohd Fadzli Mustaffa
Institute for Research in Molecular Medicine (INFORMM), Health Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan
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Source of Support: This work is supported by an Exploratory Research Grant Scheme (ERGS; 203/CIPPM/6730106) and Higher Institution Centre of Excellent (HICoE; 311/CIPPM/4401005) from the Malaysian, Ministry of Higher Education and UniversitiSains Malaysia Fellowship Scheme, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2221-1691.273091

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Objective: To isolate and characterize RNA aptamers that are specific to human CD36 protein using systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX) technology to identify candidates for adjunct therapy to reverse the binding of Plasmodium-infected erythrocytes. Methods: RNA aptamers were isolated using nitrocellulose membrane-based SELEX and binding analysis was screened using an electrophoretic mobility shift assay and enzyme-linked oligonucleotide assay. Results: Thirteen cycles of nitrocellulose membrane-based SELEX yielded three aptamers (RC60, RC25, RC04) exhibiting high binding against CD36 protein as shown on electrophoretic mobility shift assay. The sequence analysis revealed a G-quadruplex sequence within all the isolated aptamers that might contribute to aptamer binding and thermodynamic stability. The specificity assay further showed that RC60 and RC25 were highly specific to CD36. The competitive inhibition assay demonstrated that RC60 and RC25 shared a similar binding epitope recognized by mAb FA6-152, a specific monoclonal antibody against CD36. Conclusions: RC60 and RC25 are promising candidates as anti-cytoadherence for severe malaria adjunct therapy.

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