ANTISENSE OLIGONUCLEOTIDES: FROM DESIGN TO THERAPEUTIC APPLICATION

Authors


  • This paper has been peer reviewed.

WS Fred Wong, Department of Pharmacology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, MD2 18 Medical Drive, Singapore 117597. Email: phcwongf@nus.edu.sg

SUMMARY

  • 1An 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.
  • 2The 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.
  • 3In 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.

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