Specific, chemically modified aptamers (X-Aptamers) were identified against two immune checkpoint proteins, recombinant Programmed Death 1 (PD-1) and Programmed Death Ligand 1 (PD-L1). Selections were performed using a bead-based X-Aptamer (XA) library containing several different amino acid functional groups attached to dU at the 5-position. The binding affinities and specificities of the selected XA-PD1 and XA-PDL1 were validated by hPD-1 and hPD-L1 expression cells, as well as by binding to human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma tissue. The selected PD1 and PDL1 XAs can mimic antibody functions in in vitro assays.
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