SELEX experiments: new prospects, applications and data analysis in inferring regulatory pathways

Biomol Eng. 2007 Jun;24(2):179-89. doi: 10.1016/j.bioeng.2007.03.001. Epub 2007 Mar 12.


Systematic Evolution of Ligands by EXponential enrichment (SELEX) is an experimental procedure that allows extraction, from an initially random pool of oligonucleotides, of the oligomers with a desired binding affinity for a given molecular target. The procedure can be used to infer the strongest binders for a given DNA or RNA binding protein, and the highest affinity binding sequences isolated through SELEX can have numerous research, diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Recently, important new modifications of the SELEX protocol have been proposed. In particular, a modification of the standard SELEX procedure allows generating a dataset from which protein-DNA interaction parameters can be determined with unprecedented accuracy. Another variant of SELEX allows investigating interactions of a protein with nucleic-acid fragments derived from the entire genome of an organism. We review here different SELEX-based methods, with particular emphasis on the experimental design and on the applications aimed at inferring protein-DNA interactions. In addition to the experimental issues, we also review relevant methods of data analysis, as well as theoretical modeling of SELEX.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • DNA / metabolism*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology*
  • Models, Biological*
  • SELEX Aptamer Technique / methods*
  • SELEX Aptamer Technique / trends*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • DNA