antisense therapy (rus. антисенс-терапия) — method of treatment based on turning off/arrest the synthesis of protein known to be causative of a particular disease by inhibiting translation of its messenger RNA by means of complementary short nucleotide sequences (antisense oligonucleotides).


Messenger RNA (mRNA) containes coding information about the amino acid sequence of protein. The nucleotide sequence complementary to the mRNA chain is called antisense sequence. It has been established that short antisense nucleotide sequences (antisense oligonucleotides) consisting of 15-40 nucleotide bases are capable of blocking protein synthesis from the corresponding mRNA through formation of duplex regions in the mRNA and hampering the work of the ribosome (protein-synthesizing molecular machinery of the cell). Antisense oligonucleotides are used in oncology to suppress the synthesis of tumour proteins. Besides, antisense oligonucleotides are used to block the splicing of precursor mRNA (i.e. removal of non-coding sequences from the precursor mRNA and joining together of the coding sequences). Thus, they enable the removal of regions encoding mutations that cause serious diseases, such as myodystrophy (muscular dystrophy), from a mature mRNA. Methods of chemical modification are used to prevent the degradation of antisense oligonucleotides introduced into human body. Oligonucleotide delivery to the cells is an important aspect of their clinical applications; it can be performed using nanotechnology – based approaches (see: RNA interference).


  • Shirinsky Vladimir P.


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