Chemically Modified, α‑Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole (AMPA) Receptor RNA Aptamers Designed for <i>in Vivo</i> Use

2017-09-05T18:18:39Z (GMT) by Zhen Huang Wei Wen Andrew Wu Li Niu
Glutamate ion channels have three subtypes, that is, α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole (AMPA), kainate, and <i>N</i>-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. Excessive activity of these receptor subtypes either individually or collectively is involved in various neurological disorders. RNA aptamers as antagonists of these receptors are potential therapeutics. For developing aptamer therapeutics, the RNA aptamers must be chemically modified to become ribonuclease-resistant or stable in biological fluids. Using systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX) and a chemically modified library, prepared enzymatically (i.e., the library contains RNAs with 2′-fluoro modified nucleoside triphosphates or ATPs, CTPs and UTPs, but regular GTPs), we have isolated an aptamer. The short aptamer (69 nucleotides) FN1040s selectively inhibits the GluA1 and GluA2Q<sub>flip</sub> AMPA receptor subunits, whereas the full-length aptamer (101 nucleotides) FN1040 additionally inhibits GluK1, but not GluK2, kainate receptor, and GluN1a/2A and GluN1a/2B, the two major native NMDA receptors. The two aptamers show similar potency (2–4 μM) and are stable with a half-life of at least 2 days in serum-containing medium or cerebrospinal fluid. Therefore, these two aptamers are amenable for <i>in vivo</i> use.