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Oligonucleotides. 2011 Mar-Apr;21(2):55-75. doi: 10.1089/oli.2010.0273. Epub 2011 Mar 21.

Oligo/polynucleotide-based gene modification: strategies and therapeutic potential.

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  • 1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of California , San Francisco, California 94115, USA.


Oligonucleotide- and polynucleotide-based gene modification strategies were developed as an alternative to transgene-based and classical gene targeting-based gene therapy approaches for treatment of genetic disorders. Unlike the transgene-based strategies, oligo/polynucleotide gene targeting approaches maintain gene integrity and the relationship between the protein coding and gene-specific regulatory sequences. Oligo/polynucleotide-based gene modification also has several advantages over classical vector-based homologous recombination approaches. These include essentially complete homology to the target sequence and the potential to rapidly engineer patient-specific oligo/polynucleotide gene modification reagents. Several oligo/polynucleotide-based approaches have been shown to successfully mediate sequence-specific modification of genomic DNA in mammalian cells. The strategies involve the use of polynucleotide small DNA fragments, triplex-forming oligonucleotides, and single-stranded oligodeoxynucleotides to mediate homologous exchange. The primary focus of this review will be on the mechanistic aspects of the small fragment homologous replacement, triplex-forming oligonucleotide-mediated, and single-stranded oligodeoxynucleotide-mediated gene modification strategies as it relates to their therapeutic potential.

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