A vaccinia virus-based RNA expression system enabled high-level cytoplasmic expression of RNA aptamers directed against the intracellular domain of the β2 integrin LFA-1, a transmembrane protein that mediates cell adhesion to intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1). In two different cell types, cytoplasmic expression of integrin-binding aptamers reduced inducible cell adhesion to ICAM-1. The aptamers specifically target, and thereby define, a functional cytoplasmic subdomain important for the regulation of cell adhesion in leukocytes. Our approach of aptamer-controlled blocking of signaling pathways in vivo could potentially be applied wherever targeted modulation of a signal-transduction cascade is desired
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