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Inhibition of Gene Expression

Authored by: Joy M. Agee , Lynn Boyd , Leland J. Cseke

Handbook of Molecular and Cellular Methods in Biology and Medicine

Print publication date:  December  2011
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9781420069389
eBook ISBN: 9781439881958
Adobe ISBN:


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There are currently a variety of approaches used to silence the expression of endogenous genes. For years, it has been demonstrated that gene expression can be suppressed by either synthetic antisense oligonucleotides or by expression of the antisense orientation of the gene of interest. 1 4 Although the detailed mechanisms of antisense DNA/RNA inhibition are not well understood, they have been widely applied in eukaryotes in which the antisense oligonucleotides or antisense RNA transcripts inhibit the expression of specific sense RNAs. It is believed that this inhibition is due to the interaction of the antisense sequence with the endogenous complementary or sense RNA transcripts through hydrogen bonding. This interaction is believed to block the processing of translation of the sense RNA, and the duplex of antisense RNA and sense RNA may also be rapidly degraded within the cells. Therefore, the basic principle of using antisense DNA and RNA can be directed toward partially or completely inhibiting the expression of a target gene. 2 7

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