An Aptamer to the MAP Kinase Insert Region

Targeting functional, non-catalytic domains of protein kinases or other proteins is an emerging field in chemical biology research. Non-ATP competitive kinase inhibitors allow for the investigation of active-site independent functions, e.g., the biological role of protein–protein interactions. These inhibitors also serve as a starting point for developing novel therapeutic strategies. However, the identification of such inhibitors by means of conventional low molecular weight compounds represents a great challenge in modern drug discovery. Employing the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase Erk2, we show that RNA aptamers have the capacity to be a novel, promising class of protein kinase inhibitors that can be applied to target individual subdomains and block domain specific functions without affecting kinase activity per se.