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Nucleic Acid Aptamers as a Potential Nucleus Targeted Drug Delivery System

[ Vol. 17 , Issue. 2 ]


Garima Shrivastava, Hamid A. Bakshi, Alaa A. Aljabali, Vijay Mishra, Faruck L. Hakkim, Nitin B. Charbe, Prashant Kesharwani, Dinesh K. Chellappan, Kamal Dua and Murtaza M. Tambuwala*   Pages 101 - 111 ( 11 )


Background: Nucleus targeted drug delivery provides several opportunities for the treatment of fatal diseases such as cancer. However, the complex nucleocytoplasmic barriers pose significant challenges for delivering a drug directly and efficiently into the nucleus. Aptamers representing singlestranded DNA and RNA qualify as next-generation highly advanced and personalized medicinal agents that successfully inhibit the expression of certain proteins; possess extraordinary gene-expression for manoeuvring the diseased cell's fate with negligible toxicity. In addition, the precisely directed aptamers to the site of action present a tremendous potential to reach the nucleus by escaping the ensuing barriers to exhibit a better drug activity and gene expression.

Objective: This review epigrammatically highlights the significance of targeted drug delivery and presents a comprehensive description of the principal barriers faced by the nucleus targeted drug delivery paradigm and ensuing complexities thereof. Eventually, the progress of nucleus targeting with nucleic acid aptamers and success achieved so far have also been reviewed.

Methods: Systematic literature search was conducted of research published to date in the field of nucleic acid aptamers.

Conclusion: The review specifically points out the contribution of individual aptamers as the nucleustargeting agent rather than aptamers in conjugated form.


Nucleus, nucleus targeted drug delivery, nucleus targeting DNA, proteins, nucleic acid aptamers, RNA aptamers.


Department of Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, Hauz Khas, New Delhi, SAAD Centre for Pharmacy and Diabetes, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science, Ulster University, Coleraine, County Londonderry BT52 1SA Northern Ireland, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Yarmouk University, Irbid, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Lovely Professional University, Phagwara (Punjab), Department of Mathematics and Sciences, College of Arts and Applied Sciences, Dhofar University, Salalah, Departamento de Quimica Organica, Facultad de Quimicay de Farmacia, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Av. Vicuña McKenna 4860, Macul, Santiago 7820436, Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi, 110062, Department of Life Sciences, School of Pharmacy, International Medical University, Bukit Jalil 57000, Kuala Lumpur, Discipline of Pharmacy, Graduate School of Health, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2007, SAAD Centre for Pharmacy and Diabetes, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science, Ulster University, Coleraine, County Londonderry BT52 1SA Northern Ireland

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