A DNA Aptamer That Inhibits the Formation of Unliganded Receptor Dimer and Ligand-Independent Signaling in Cancer Cells
Growth factor receptors are activated through dimerization by the binding of their ligands and play pivotal roles in normal cell function. However, in cancer cells, the overexpression of receptors often causes the formation of unliganded receptor dimers, which can be activated in a ligand-independent manner. Thus, the unliganded receptor dimer is a promising target to inhibit aberrant signaling in cancer. Here, we report an aptamer that inhibits ligand-independent receptor activation via preventing the formation of unliganded receptor dimer. By biasing the receptor monomer–dimer equilibrium to the monomer, this aptamer inhibited aberrant cell signaling caused by the unliganded receptor dimer. This work presents a new possibility of oligonucleotide-based therapeutics for cancer.