Selection of an RNA molecule that specifically inhibits the protease activity of subtilisin

Hiroshi Takeno, Seiji Yamamoto, Terumichi Tanaka, Yoshiyuki Sakano, Yo Kikuchi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


RNA ligands (RNA aptamers) to a protease subtilisin were selected from pools of random RNA by SELEX (systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment) and by use of a subtilisin-immobilized Sepharose column. After eight rounds of selection, RNA aptamers were isolated by cloning to a plasmid vector. We characterized one of the selected RNA molecules. This RNA aptamer displayed specific inhibition toward the subtilisin activity, even when the assay for subtilisin was performed using the chromogenic small peptide as substrate, and almost no inhibitory activity toward trypsin and chymotrypsin, although these enzymes are serine proteases similar to subtilisin. These findings indicate that this RNA can differentially recognize the surfaces of similar proteases. Kinetic analysis of the RNA aptamer revealed that the inhibition constant (K(i)) toward subtilisin was 2.5 μM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1115-1119
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biochemistry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Aptamer
  • In vitro selection
  • Protease inhibitor
  • Subtilisin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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