Antisense DNA Therapy
Refers to the introduction of short antisense strands of DNA, which then bind with target mRNA. Many cancers are due to overexpression of the genes that promote cell proliferation, called tumor suppressor genes. Antisense RNA might be able to inhibit this overexpression. Antisense DNA is single stranded DNA of various length that is complementary to the mRNA of a given gene. The antisense DNA binds to the mRNA and, by mechanisms that are not completely understood, inhibits its natural function, i.e., translation into protein. Antisense nucleic acids are widely used to study the effect of genes in cultured cells. The potential of antisense nucleic acids in gene therapy, for instance to therapeutically downregulate the expression of overexpressed genes, is being evaluated.
It is increasingly clear that the process of tumorigenesis is intimately associated with the accumulation of specific genetic abnormalities. This recognition has