Antisense therapeutics: is it as simple as complementary base recognition?

Mol Med Today. 2000 Feb;6(2):72-81. doi: 10.1016/s1357-4310(99)01638-x.


Antisense oligonucleotides provide a simple and efficient approach for developing target-selective drugs because they can modulate gene expression sequence-specifically. Antisense oligonucleotides have also become efficient molecular biological tools to investigate the function of any protein in the cell. As the application of antisense oligonucleotides has expanded, multiple mechanisms of oligonucleotides have been characterized that impede their routine use. Here, we discuss different mechanisms of action of oligonucleotides and the possible ways of minimizing non-antisense-related [corrected] effects to improve their specificity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Pairing / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • CpG Islands / genetics
  • Drug Design
  • Humans
  • Immunization
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense / chemistry
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense / genetics
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense / metabolism*
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense / therapeutic use*
  • Protein Binding
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense