Scientific reports

Suppression of FOXM1 Transcriptional Activities via a Single-Stranded DNA Aptamer Generated by SELEX.

PMID 28358012


The transcription factor FOXM1 binds to its consensus sequence at promoters through its DNA binding domain (DBD) and activates proliferation-associated genes. The aberrant overexpression of FOXM1 correlates with tumorigenesis and progression of many cancers. Inhibiting FOXM1 transcriptional activities is proposed as a potential therapeutic strategy for cancer treatment. In this study, we obtained a FOXM1-specific single stranded DNA aptamer (FOXM1 Apt) by SELEX with a recombinant FOXM1 DBD protein as the target of selection. The binding of FOXM1 Apt to FOXM1 proteins were confirmed with electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSAs) and fluorescence polarization (FP) assays. Phosphorthioate-modified FOXM1 Apt (M-FOXM1 Apt) bound to FOXM1 as wild type FOXM1 Apt, and co-localized with FOXM1 in nucleus. M-FOXM1-Apt abolished the binding of FOXM1 on its consensus binding sites and suppressed FOXM1 transcriptional activities. Compared with the RNA interference of FOXM1 in cancer cells, M-FOXM1 Apt repressed cell proliferation and the expression of FOXM1 target genes without changing FOXM1 levels. Our results suggest that the obtained FOXM1 Apt could be used as a probe for FOXM1 detection and an inhibitor of FOXM1 transcriptional functions in cancer cells at the same time, providing a potential reagent for cancer diagnosis and treatment in the future.