As compared with antibodies, aptamers have several beneficial characteristics, such as low immunogenicity,
low molecular weight (8 to 15 kDa), high stability, better penetration, high affinity, and ease of production . From these reasons, we decided to develop a MMP2-specific aptamer. By performing modified DNA systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX), we successfully developed a MMP2-specific aptamer which had high affinity and specificity and showed the possibility that it can be applied for molecular imaging. Methods In vitro selection of MMP2 DNA aptamers PND-1186 supplier To select MMP2-specific aptamers, a modified DNA SELEX procedure was used, as previously described . Briefly, an ssDNA library template consisting of a 40-nucleotide random region (N40) flanked by two constant regions was prepared and immobilized on streptavidin-coated beads (Pierce, Rockland, MA, USA) via its 5′–OH-end biotin. A primer extension was then performed using the dATP, dCTP, dGTP, and benzyl-dUTP nucleotides. The modified DNA library was detached from the template under high pH conditions and then incubated with biotin-tagged target, partitioned using Dynabeads MyOne (Invitrogen, Carlsbad, CA, USA) and amplified
by conventional PCR using a 5′–OH terminal biotinylated reverse Src inhibitor primer. A primer extension was then performed, and an enriched pool was prepared for the next round. After eight rounds of SELEX, the enriched DNA pool was cloned and sequenced using standard procedures. After each round of SELEX, binding assays were performed to measure the dissociation constant (K d) value of the medroxyprogesterone aptamer pool to ensure that its K d value exhibited a decreasing trend. Binding assay MMP2 aptamers were assayed for their ability to bind recombinant MMP2 (R&D Systems,
Minneapolis, MN, USA). Aptamers were end-labeled with [α-32P]ATP and heated at 95°C for 3 min and then slowly ramped to 37°C at 0.1°C/s in buffer (40 mM HEPES (pH 7.5), 120 mM NaCl, 5 mM KCl, 5 mM MgCl2, 0.002% tween-20) for aptamer refolding. Aptamers were then incubated with purified MMP-2 at various concentrations for 30 min at 37°C. In order to capture MMP-2, the solution was incubated with Zorbax Birinapant clinical trial silica beads (Agilent, Santa Clara, CA, USA) for 1 min with shaking. The protein bead complex was then partitioned through nitrocellulose filter plates (Millipore, Billerica, MA, USA), which were then washed in buffer and exposed to photographic film. Amounts of radiolabeled aptamer that interacted with proteins were quantified using a Fuji FLA-5000 Image Analyzer (Tokyo, Japan). Dissociation constants were calculated by plotting bound MMP2 aptamer versus protein concentration using the following equation: Y = B max X/(K d + X), where B max is the extrapolated maximal amount of bound aptamer/protein complex.