In Vivo SELEX of an Inhibitory NSCLC-Specific RNA Aptamer from PEGylated RNA Library

Hanlu Wang, Yibang Zhang, Haiping Yang, Meng Qin, Xinxin Ding, Rihe Liu, Yongping Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Aptamers are widely used in numerous biochemical, bioanalytical, and biological studies. Most aptamers are developed through an in vitro selection process called SELEX against either purified targets or living cells expressing targets of interest. We report here an in vivo SELEX in mice using a PEGylated RNA library for the identification of a 2′-F RNA aptamer (RA16) that specifically binds to NCI-H460 non-small-cell lung cancer cells with an affinity (KD) of 9 ± 2 nM. Interestingly, RA16 potently inhibited cancer cell proliferation in a dose-dependent manner with an IC50 of 116.7 nM. When tested in vivo in xenografted mice, RA16 showed gradual migration toward tumor and accumulation at tumor site over time. An in vivo anti-cancer study showed that the average inhibition rate for mouse tumors in the RA16-treated group was 54.26% ± 5.87% on day 16 versus the control group. The aptamer RA16 adducted with epirubicin (RA16-epirubicin) showed significantly higher toxicity against targeted NCI-H460 cells and low toxicity against non-targeted tumor cells. Furthermore, RA16-epirubicin adduct exhibited in vivo anti-cancer efficacy, with an inhibition rate of 64.38% ± 7.92% when administrated in H460 xenograft mouse model. In summary, a specific bi-functional RNA aptamer RA16 was selected targeting and inhibiting toward NCI-H460 in vitro and in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-198
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids
StatePublished - Mar 2 2018


  • NCI-H460
  • PEGylated RNA library
  • RNA aptamer
  • in vivo-SELEX
  • targeted drug delivery
  • targeting and inhibition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery


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