Antisense Therapy is Bringing New Life to the Biomedical World

Summary: Antisense oligonucleotides are playing large roles in disease prevention.

Throughout the course of oligonucleotide history, major improvements and discoveries have been made in molecular biology that have allowed antisense therapy to thrive. This has allowed researchers to thrive in understanding diseases at the molecular level, which has essentially facilitated the development of new drugs based on a rational design. This has opened up thousands of possibilities and is only the foundation of what is yet to come.

Antisense Therapy

Antisense therapy is the application of rational design based on the concept of oligonucleotide chemistry. Zamenick and Stephenson were the first to illustrate this idea and present it to the world when they demonstrated that oligonucleotides could inhibit the replication of the Rous sarcoma in the body´s cellular system. Because of this principle, it allowed researchers to approach antisense in a simple way: inhibit the expression of a targeted gene at the RNA level and attaining complimentary oligonucleotides will follow. These are what are called antisense oligonucleotides, which block the expression of the protein that is encoded by the target RNA or synthetic DNA. If the inhibited proteins are the ones related to disease, then those oligonucleotides become a new class of drugs.

With the combination of both RNA and DNA synthesis in the cellular body, there are several reactions that occur that allow scientists to gain insightful data on to how the antisense oligonucleotide can overall affect a disease. This continues to be researched as antisense therapy continues to make a mark in the medical field, with impending breakthroughs just waiting to occur.

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