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Strategies to identify potential therapeutic target sites in RNA

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Antisense agents are powerful tools to inhibit gene expression in a sequence-specific manner. They are used for functional genomics, as diagnostic tools and for therapeutic purposes. Three classes of antisense agents can be distinguished by their mode of action: single-stranded antisense oligodeoxynucleotides; catalytic active RNA/DNA such as ribozymes, DNA- or locked nucleic acid (LNA)zymes; and small interfering RNA molecules known as siRNA. The selection of target sites in highly structured RNA molecules is crucial for their successful application. This is a difficult task, since RNA is assembled into nucleoprotein complexes and forms stable secondary structures in vivo, rendering most of the molecule inaccessible to intermolecular base pairing with complementary nucleic acids. In this review, we discuss several selection strategies to identify potential target sites in RNA molecules. In particular, we focus on combinatorial library approaches that allow high throughput screening of sequences for the design of antisense agents.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Experimental Pharmacology : RNA Towards Medicine
EditorsVolker Erdmann, Jan Barciszewski, Jürgen Brosius
Number of pages17
Place of publicationBerlin
Publication year2006
ISBN (print)978-3-540-27261-8
Publication statusPublished - 2006

    Research areas

  • Animals, Gene Library, Humans, Oligonucleotides, Antisense, RNA, RNA, Catalytic, RNA, Small Interfering

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