aptamer

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aptamer

A short biomolecule (e.g., an oligonucleotide or peptide) that binds to a specific target molecule—e.g., dopamine, HIV TAR, hemin, IFN-gamma, lysozyme, thrombin and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Decoy aptamers inactivate DNA-binding proteins (e.g., transcription factors), thereby activating or inactivating genes.

aptamer

(ap′tă-mĕr) [L. aptus, fitted, appropriate + -mere]
A chemical, usually a protein or a nucleic acid, that can fashion itself into numerous shapes, e.g., the configuration of a cell surface receptor.