Nucleic Acid Aptamer Selection against Myelin Basic Protein for the Prevention of Demyelination

Nucleic Acid Aptamer Selection against Myelin Basic Protein for the Prevention of Demyelination
Allen Gwo

Myelin Basic Protein (MBP) is an important building block for myelin sheaths unique to the nervous system. These myelin sheaths wrap around the nervous system to prevent the loss of electrical impulse through the axon. Due to this, myelin sheaths increase the propagation of electricity throughout the nervous system1. However, there are diseases associated with the loss of myelin sheaths such as Multiple Sclerosis.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease associated with the loss of myelin sheaths which affects the ability of nerve cells to communicate with each other.  Since myelin sheaths prevent the loss of electrical current through the axon, the loss of this essential part causes the axons to lose the ability to conduct signals effectively. A person with MS have their own body’s immune system attack the myelin2. Currently there is no known cure for MS, and it is hard to diagnose the symptoms because the severity and location are different in every patient. The symptoms appear in unpredictable patterns and thus making it hard to treat. An aptamer for MBP might be used for the promotion of myelin sheaths, which would eliminate or reduce the threat of contracting MS.
Specific Aim 1: the primary aim of this project is to find an aptamer that can bind to MBP
Specific Aim 2: the next aim if the aptamer is to find a way to prevent or reduce demyelination which can ultimately lead to finding a cure for MS

Figure 1. Myelin Basic Protein from a computer generated image. The structure of the protein reveals some potential binding spots for the aptamers. Citation: adapted from Protein Data Bank (1998) 

Target order information:
Vendor: United States Biological
Product catalog number: M9758-10
Vendor website:
Vendor telephone number: 800-520-3011
Cost per unit: $327 per 1 mg
Cost per round: $4 per round (400 pmol)

1. Hartline DK, Colman DR (January 2007). "Rapid conduction and the evolution of giant axons and myelinated fibers". Curr. Biol. 17 (1): R29-35.
2. Langgartner M, Langgartner I, Drlicek M (April 2005). "The patient's journey: multiple sclerosis". BMJ 330 (7496): 885-8

Full Proposal
First Progress Report
Second Progress Report
Final Report

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