Multivalent Aptamer-Functionalized Single-Strand RNA Origami as Effective, Target-Specific Anticoagulants with Corresponding Reversal Agents

Abhichart Krissanaprasit, Carson M Key, Kristen Froehlich, Sahil Pontula, Emily Mihalko, Daniel M Dupont, Ebbe S Andersen, Jørgen Kjems, Ashley C Brown, Thomas H LaBean

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Anticoagulants are commonly utilized during surgeries and to treat thrombotic diseases like stroke and deep vein thrombosis. However, conventional anticoagulants have serious side-effects, narrow therapeutic windows, and lack safe reversal agents (antidotes). Here, an alternative RNA origami displaying RNA aptamers as target-specific anticoagulant is described. Improved design and construction techniques for self-folding, single-molecule RNA origami as a platform for displaying pre-selected RNA aptamers with precise orientational and spatial control are reported. Nuclease resistance is added using 2'-fluoro-modified pyrimidines during in vitro transcription. When four aptamers are displayed on the RNA origami platform, the measured thrombin inhibition and anticoagulation activity is higher than observed for free aptamers, ssRNA-linked RNA aptamers, and RNA origami displaying fewer aptamers. Importantly, thrombin inhibition is immediately switched off by addition of specific reversal agents. Results for single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) and single-stranded peptide nucleic acid (PNA) antidotes show restoration of 63% and 95% coagulation activity, respectively. To demonstrate potential for practical, long-term storage for clinical use, RNA origami is freeze-dried, and stored at room temperature. Freshly produced and freeze-dried RNA show identical levels of activity in coagulation assays. Compared to current commercial intravenous anticoagulants, RNA origami-based molecules show promise as safer alternatives with rapid activity switching for future therapeutic applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2001826
JournalAdvanced Healthcare Materials
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • RNA nanotechnology
  • RNA origami
  • anticoagulants
  • aptamers
  • direct thrombin inhibitors
  • nucleic acids
  • reversal agents


Dive into the research topics of 'Multivalent Aptamer-Functionalized Single-Strand RNA Origami as Effective, Target-Specific Anticoagulants with Corresponding Reversal Agents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this