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Definition of Antisense

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Antisense: In molecular biology, the strand complementary to a coding sequence of a nucleic acid.

Antisense DNA is the non-coding strand complementary to the coding strand in double-stranded DNA. The antisense strand serves as the template for messenger RNA (mRNA) synthesis.

Antisense RNA is the non-coding strand complementary to a coding sequence of mRNA, a molecule involved in translating genetic instructions into proteins. Antisense RNA hybridizes with and inactivates mRNA.

Antisense drugs are based on the fact that antisense RNA hybridizes with and inactivates mRNA. These drugs are short sequences of RNA that attach to mRNA and stop a particular gene from producing the protein for which it holds the recipe. Antisense drugs are being developed to treat lung cancer, diabetes and diseases such as arthritis and asthma with a major inflammatory component.

Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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