Antisense oligonucleotides as therapeutic agents

Angela Alama, Federica Barbieri, Monica Cagnoli, Gennaro Schettini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The potential for modulating gene expression by the use of antisense oligonucleotides has become increasingly interesting in recent years. Antisense oligonucleotides are complementary nucleic acid fragments that hybridize to target sequences within RNA to form a DNA-RNA duplex, resulting in the block of translation of messenger RNA into the protein. Advances in chemistry and molecular biology have provided the basis to develop antisense oligodeoxynucleotides and improve their selectivity, stability and specificity of action. The antisense technology has been extensively used in vitro and in vivo as a tool to study the regulatory mechanisms in biologic processes and as potential therapeutic agents in cancer, viral infections and genetic disorders. In the present review, the various approaches for the use of antisense molecules in oncology, virology, genetic and inflammatory diseases are described; several studies, supporting the in vitro and in vivo applications of this technology, are also presented. Moreover, the potential clinical use of antisense therapies is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-178
Number of pages8
JournalPharmacological Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1997


  • Antisense oligonucleotides
  • Gene expression
  • Oncogenes
  • Viral targets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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