Featured Research Collaborator: Dr. Ali R. Alhoshani

Featured Research Collaborator: Dr. Ali R. Alhoshani

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Dr. Ali R. Alhoshani

Assistant Professor 
Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology
College of Pharmacy, King Saud University
Ph.D. in Pharmacological Science (2014) 
University of California, Irvine, USA

Aptamers are short single-stranded nucleotides DNA or RNA molecules (20-80 bases ~6-26 kDa) that bind to macromolecule targets (i.e. protein), small molecules (i.e. organic compounds), or the whole cells with specific binding characteristics and high affinity. The specificity and affinity is based on the ability of the short nucleotides (aptamers) to adapt a unique three-dimensional structure that fits the target. Ellington and Szostak first described this in 1990. The interaction between aptamer and the target ensues through combination of hydrogen bonding, van der Waals, electrostatic, and stacking interactions.

There are different applications for aptamers. They can be used to understand the interaction between protein and nucleic acid to show original sequences of RNA or DNA recognized by the protein. Aptamers also can be used for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes in human diseases.
Typically, the therapeutic strategies to identify selective/specific aptamers are to bind the aptamer directly to the target to regulate downstream effects. The basic process of identifying aptamer starts through in vitro selection know as Systematic Evolution of Ligands by EXponential enrichment (SELEX).
My current research involves working on developing aptamers to inhibit and eliminate cancer and understanding their mechanism of action on Cancer Stem Cells (CSC) and Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSC). We use the newly developed real-time cell analysis (RTCA) system for dynamic monitoring of cell attachment, proliferation, damage, and death with and without these agents.


Research Interests

Stem Cell Research, Cell Culture studies, Hematologic Malignancies, Protein Expression, Drug Discovery, Cancer Research, Virology


Selected Publications

  • Alhoshani, A., Vithayathil, R., Weiss, G.A. and Cocco, M.J. (2014). Model of the Nogo: Nogo Receptor Complex. Biophysical Journal. 106(2):410a-411a. DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2013.11.2311
  • Alhoshani, A., et al. (2014). Glutamate provides a key structural contact between reticulon-4 (Nogo-66) and phosphocoline. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1838(9):2350-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbamem.2014.05.021.
  • Hafez, M.M., Al-Harbi N.O., Al-Hoshani, A.R., et al. (2015). Hepato-protective effect of rutin via IL-6/STAT3 pathway in CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity in rats. Biol Res. 48:30. doi: 10.1186/s40659-015-0022-y.
  • Hafez, M.M., Alhoshani, A.R., et al. (2015). SKP2/P27Kip1 pathway is associated with Advanced Ovarian Cancer in Saudi Patients. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 16(14): 5807-15.