Development of cell-SELEX technology and its application in cancer diagnosis and therapy

Man Chen, Yuanyuan YU, Feng Jiang, Junwei Zhou, Yongshu Li, Chao LIANG, Lei Dang, Aiping LYU, Ge ZHANG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

87 Citations (Scopus)


SELEX (systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment) is a process involving the progressive isolation of high selective ssDNA/RNA from a combinatorial single-stranded oligonucleotide library through repeated rounds of binding, partitioning and amplification. SELEX-derived single-stranded DNA/RNA molecules, called aptamers, are selected against a wide range of targets, including purified proteins, live cells, tissues, microorganisms, small molecules and so on. With the development of SELEX technology over the last two decades, various modified SELEX processes have been arisen. A majority of aptamers are selected against purified proteins through traditional SELEX. Unfortunately, more and more evidence showed aptamers selected against purified membrane proteins failed to recognize their targets in live cells. Cell-SELEX could develop aptamers against a particular target cell line to discriminate this cell line from others. Therefore, cell-SELEX has been widely used to select aptamers for the application of both diagnosis and therapy of various diseases, especially for cancer. In this review, the advantages and limitations of cell-SELEX and SELEX against purified protein will be compared. Various modified cell-SELEX techniques will be summarized, and application of cell-SELEX in cancer diagnosis and therapy will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2079
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • Aptamer
  • Cancer
  • Cell-SELEX
  • Diagnosis
  • Therapy


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