The term Aptamer refers to small molecules that can bind specific sides of their target molecule. These molecules can be based on nucleic acids (single-stranded DNA/ RNA) or peptides (peptide-aptamers, PA). They offer great flexibility in terms of design and development, and their binding specificity and selectivity has made them an ideal alternative to antibodies (1). These features have made nucleic-acids aptamers increasingly popular in research, diagnostics, and drug development (2; 3; 4).

Nucleic-acids aptamers bind their targets using larger interaction surfaces, compared to PAs. This is due to the fact that PAs consist of 15-20 amino-acids peptides embedded into stable protein scaffolds. Therefore, the interaction surface between PA and their target is restricted to the 15-20 amino-acids of the PA variable region (1).

A summarized list of features to consider when ordering aptamers is shown in the table below:

Nucleic Acids AptamersPeptide-Aptamers
Form flexible 3D structures, with RNA Aptamers forming particularly diverse conformations 3D Conformation is constrained by the protein scaffold
Bind target using their entire length Binding region is restricted to the 15-20 amino-acids of the variable region

At metabion, we always strive to assist our customers with their cutting-edge scientific applications. We are expert in oligonucleotide synthesis and we are glad to provide you with a fully customized solution for aptamer synthesis, of course of best quality!

Main features of our Aptamers:

  • All our Aptamers are scrupulously quality-controlled via Mass-Check analysis before release.
  • RNA Aptamers are HPLC purified and mass-checked for highest quality.
  • You can choose among a seasoned selection of modifications from our DNA and RNA portfolio.

For more information and a quotation, contact us at info@metabion.com


1. S. Reverdatto, D. S. Burz, A. Shekhtman. Peptide Aptamers: Development and Applications. Curr Top Med Chem. 15, 2015, Vol. 12, 1082-1101.

2. Jung Wook Huh, Sung Chun Kim, Insuk Sohn, Sin-Ho Jung, and Hee Cheol Kim. Serum protein profiling using an aptamer array predicts clinical outcomes of stage IIA colon cancer: A leave-one-out crossvalidation. Oncotarget. 7, 2016, Vol. 13, 16338–16348.

3. Jiehua Zhou, John Rossi. Aptamers as targeted therapeutics: current potential and challenges. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery. doi:10.1038/nrd.2016.199, 2016.

4. Franziska Pfeiffer, Günter Mayer. Selection and Biosensor Application of Aptamers for Small Molecules. Front Chem. . 4, 2016, Vol. 25, 10.3389/fchem.2016.00025.