Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

, Volume 427, Issue 1–2, pp 157–167 | Cite as

Identification of an RNA aptamer binding hTERT-derived peptide and inhibiting telomerase activity in MCF7 cells

  • Akhil Varshney
  • Jyoti Bala
  • Baby Santosh
  • Ashima Bhaskar
  • Suresh Kumar
  • Pramod K. Yadava


Human telomerase reverse transcriptase is an essential rate-limiting component of telomerase complex. hTERT protein in association with other proteins and the human telomerase RNA (hTR) shows telomerase activity, essential for maintaining genomic integrity in proliferating cells. hTERT binds hTR through a decapeptide located in the RID2 (RNA interactive domain 2) domain of N-terminal region. Since hTERT is essential for telomerase activity, inhibitors of hTERT are of great interest as potential anti-cancer agent. We have selected RNA aptamers against a synthetic peptide from the RID2 domain of hTERT by employing in vitro selection protocol (SELEX). The selected RNAs could bind the free peptide, as CD spectra suggested conformational change in aptamer upon RID2 binding. Extracts of cultured breast cancer cells (MCF7) expressing this aptamer showed lower telomerase activity as estimated by TRAP assay. hTERT-binding RNA aptamers hold promise as probable anti-cancer therapeutic agent.


Telomerase TRAP assay SELEX Cancer RNA aptamer Therapeutics 



Human telomerase RNA component


Human telomerase reverse transcriptase


Systematic evolution of ligand by exponential enrichment



The present study was supported by Project Grants from Department of Sciences and Technology and Grant received under UGC Resource Networking Centre, Government of India.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Akhil Varshney
    • 1
  • Jyoti Bala
    • 1
  • Baby Santosh
    • 1
  • Ashima Bhaskar
    • 1
  • Suresh Kumar
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pramod K. Yadava
    • 1
  1. 1.Applied Molecular Biology Laboratory, School of Life SciencesJawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Molecular Genetics Laboratory, Institute of Cytogenetic and Preventive OncologyIndian Council of Medical ResearchNoidaIndia

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