Combination of an aptamer probe to CD4 and antibodies for multicolored cell phenotyping

Peng Zhang, Nianxi Zhao, Zihua Zeng, Chung Che Chang, Youli Zu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Aptamers have emerged as a new class of small molecule ligands. These short, single-stranded oligonucleotides can be produced through simple chemical synthesis, making them easier and less costly to produce than antibodies. We synthesized an RNA aptamer probe specific for human CD4 using a reported sequence and investigated the potential use of this probe in cell phenotyping. Studies in cultured cells demonstrated that the synthetic CD4 aptamer had a nearly identical cell-binding specificity as the standard CD4 antibody. Fluorescent microscopy confirmed that the aptamer and antibody generated the same CD4 staining pattern in cells without competing with one another. Multicolored flow cytometry analysis revealed that the CD4 aptamer could be combined with antibodies to phenotype cells from bone marrow, lymph nodes, and pleural fluid, suggesting that the aptamer probe has value for clinical use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)586-593
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • CD4
  • Cell phenotyping
  • Cell staining
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Multicolored flow cytometry
  • Oligonucleotide aptamer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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