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Research Update

High Affinity RNA Aptamers Target NMDA Receptors, Boasting Specificity, Flexibility and Economical Advantages

Conditions of the central nervous system are difficult to treat, particularly those targeting post-synaptic receptors. One such receptor, the NMDA receptor is known to trigger long-lasting changes in synapses. NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity is important not only in physiological functions such as learning and memory, but also in unwanted pathological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and chronic pain. Tight regulation of the receptors is crucial for maintaining proper function. Furthermore, subunits of the post-synaptic α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptor and kainate receptor have similar homology, making target discernment even more challenging. To address these challenges, Lee et al. have turned to aptamers.

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Blog Post

Back to the Future with RNA and XNA
Back to the Future
  • The Prebiotic ‘RNA World’ Predates our DNA-Based Genetics
  • What About Other Life-Forming Nucleic Acid (XNA)?
  • New Research Discovers Synthetic XNA Providing Possible Clues

The metaphorical connection between Back to the Future and nucleic acids comes from currently captivating theories about RNA preceding DNA in molecular evolution of life, and—more intriguingly—whether XNA played a primordial role back then, or might in the future. Read More

 
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