Ligand molecules that can recognize and interact with cancer cell surface marker proteins with high affinity and specificity should greatly aid the development of novel cancer diagnostics and therapeutics. HER-2/ErbB2/Neu (HER-2), a member of the epidermal growth factor receptor family, is specifically overexpressed on the surface of breast cancer cells and serves as both a useful biomarker and a therapeutic target for breast cancer. In this study, we aimed to isolate RNA aptamers that specifically bind to a HER-2-overexpressing human breast cancer cell line, SK-BR-3, using Cell-SELEX strategy. The selected aptamers showed strong affinity to SK-BR-3, but not to MDA-MB-231, a HER-2-underexpressing breast cancer cell line. In addition, we confirmed the specific targeting of HER-2 receptor by aptamers using an unrelated mouse cell line overexpressing human HER-2 receptor. The HER-2-targeting RNA aptamers could become a useful reagent for the development of breast cancer diagnostics and therapeutics.
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