Antisense Oligonucleotides

Antisense oligonucleotides (AOs) are short sequences of nucleotide with about 20 bases that are complementary to some regions of the specific mRNA sequence of interest. When cells take up the short DNA molecules, synthesis of the protein from the specific mRNA is inhibited. The mechanism by which AO blocks the specific protein production remains unclear. Interfering with the selected mRNA stability or its translation may be one potential mechanism (Phillips et al. 1996). Because of specificity, effectiveness, and reversibility, cell-based antisense experiments have proven useful in studying gene and protein function.

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