Nucleic acid aptamers as a potential nucleus targeted drug delivery system

Garima Shrivastava, Hamid A. Bakshi, Alaa A. Aljabali, Vijay Mishra, Faruck L. Hakkim, Nitin B. Charbe, Prashant Kesharwani, Dinesh K. Chellappan, Kamal Dua, Murtaza M. Tambuwala

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


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 single-stranded 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 aptam-ers 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 pre-sents 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. Results and Conclusion: The review specifically points out the contribution of individual aptamers as the nucleus-targeting agent rather than aptamers in conjugated form.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-111
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent drug delivery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 12 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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© 2020 Bentham Science Publishers.


  • Nucleic acid aptamers
  • Nucleus
  • Nucleus targeted drug delivery
  • Nucleus targeting DNA
  • Proteins
  • RNA aptamers


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