INVESTIGATIONAL NEW DRUGS, vol.40, no.1, pp.172-181, 2022 (SCI-Expanded)
Background. Osteosarcoma is a highly malignant bone tumor, most frequently occurring in the rapid bone growth phase. Effective treatment of this disease is hindered by the lack of specific probes for early diagnosis and the fast cancer widespread. Methods. To find such probes, the cell-Systematic Evolution of Ligands by EXponential enrichment (cell-SELEX) methodology was implemented against the human osteosarcoma MG-63 cell line towards the selection of new specific aptamers. After 10 rounds of selection, the aptamer DNA pool was Sanger sequenced and the sequences were subjected to a bioinformatic analysis that included sequence alignment, phylogenetic relationship, and secondary structure prediction. Results. A DNA aptamer (OS-7.9), with a dissociation constant (K-d) value in the nanomolar range (12.8 +/- 0.9 nM), revealed high affinity against the target cells at the physiological temperature. Furthermore, the selected aptamer also recognized lung carcinoma and colon colorectal adenocarcinoma cell lines, which are reported as common metastasis sites of osteosarcoma. Conclusions. These results suggest that OS-7.9 could recognize a common protein expressed in these cancer cells, possibly becoming a potential molecular probe for early diagnosis and targeted therapies for metastatic disease. Moreover, to the best of our knowledge, this was the first attempt to generate a DNA aptamer (OS-7.9 aptamer) against the MG-63-cell line by cell-SELEX.