An RNA containing 2'-amino pyrimidines has been isolated using in vitro selection techniques that specifically and avidly (apparent Kd approximately 30 nM) binds a mouse monoclonal antibody called MA20. This 2'-amino-derivatized RNA is at least 10,000-fold more stable than unmodified RNA in serum, and can act as a decoy and block MA20 binding to its natural antigen, the human insulin receptor, on lymphocytes. Furthermore, this RNA decoy can inhibit MA20-mediated downmodulation of insulin receptor expression on human lymphocytes in culture by up to 90%. Surprisingly, the decoy RNA cross-reacts with autoantibodies from patients with extreme insulin resistance and can inhibit these antiinsulin receptor antibodies from downmodulating insulin receptor expression by up to 80% without impeding insulin binding to its receptor. These results suggest that in vitro-selected decoy RNAs may be able to specifically and selectively block oligoclonal autoimmune responses to self-antigens in patients with autoimmune diseases.

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