sense and antisense?
vstr18a at mercury.sfsu.edu
Fri Nov 25 23:32:14 EST 1994
Dr. Chihara (chihara at noc.usfca.edu) wrote:
: I have seen so many different ways of calling DNA strands sense and
: antisense that I begin to think it is all nonsense.
: If antisense RNA is comp. to mRNA, shouldn't the template strand in the
: DNA be antisense? This makes the complement (the 5' end we normally see
: displayed) the sense strand. Hartl's book defines things the other way
: round, which makes no sense to me. Is there consensus out there?
I also ran across this discrepancy in the Griffiths text, regarding
the nomenclature of sense / coding / template naming of DNA strands.
I've never liked the terminology, since using the words in the
English way leads to confusion, so I did a mini-survey of the
genetics books at hand, and it seems that the Griffiths text is
indeed in the minority (I haven't looked at the Hartl text):
Using as a model: 5'- C A T -3' = "A" strand DNA
3'- G T A -5' = "B" strand DNA
5'- C A U -3' = mRNA
The strands are defined in the following terms by the references
"A" strand = coding strand (3,5,8,9)
= sense strand (3,5,7,8)
= non-template strand (1,6,10)
>>> = anti-sense strand (2)
"B" strand = anti-coding strand (3,9)
= anti-sense strand (3,5,8)
= nonsense strand (7)
= template strand (1,2,5,6,7,8,9,10)
>>> = coding strand (4)
>>> = sense strand (2)
>>> denotes minority position; note King & Stansfield go both ways!
(1) Alberts et al., _Molecular Biology of the Cell_, p.205
(2) Griffiths et al., _An Introduction to Genetic Analysis_
(3) King & Stansfield, _A Dictionary of Genetics_ (4th), p.66
(4) King & Stansfield, _A Dictionary of Genetics_ (4th), p.316
(5) Lewin, _Genes V_, p.163, 377
(6) Russell, _Genetics_ (3rd), p.364
(7) Singer & Berg, _Genes and Genomes_, p.135
(8) Stryer, _Biochemistry_ (3rd), p.705
(9) Tamarin, _Principles of Genetics_ (4th), p.240
(10)Watson et al., _Molecular Biology of the Gene_ (4th), p.376
The instructor I work for (as a TA/grader) explained to me that the
confusion arose when the terminology was reversed 10 or so years ago, and
some have been slower than others to catch on, I guess.
No wonder this has always confused me...personally, I like the
template/non-template nomenclature best, since it seems to be the
hardest to screw up.
vstr18a at sfsu.edu
More information about the Bioforum