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Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2006 May-Jun;33(5-6):533-40.

Antisense oligonucleotides: from design to therapeutic application.

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Department of Pharmacology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and Immunology Program, National University of Singapore, Singapore.


1. An antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) is a short strand of deoxyribonucleotide analogue that hybridizes with the complementary mRNA in a sequence-specific manner via Watson-Crick base pairing. Formation of the ASO-mRNA heteroduplex either triggers RNase H activity, leading to mRNA degradation, induces translational arrest by steric hindrance of ribosomal activity, interferes with mRNA maturation by inhibiting splicing or destabilizes pre-mRNA in the nucleus, resulting in downregulation of target protein expression. 2. The ASO is not only a useful experimental tool in protein target identification and validation, but also a highly selective therapeutic strategy for diseases with dysregulated protein expression. 3. In the present review, we discuss various theoretical approaches to rational design of ASO, chemical modifications of ASO, ASO delivery systems and ASO-related toxicology. Finally, we survey ASO drugs in various current clinical studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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