Antisense and sensibilities

Marci Wright gene027 at
Tue Jan 2 18:45:14 EST 1996

In Article <960102183706_29953875 at>, Jfloring at wrote:
>Dear netters,  
>There's been a bit of discussion about the definition of the sense vs.
>antisense strands of DNA.  I, for one, am more confused than ever, and the
>howe vs laskey debate hasn't helped one iota:   For an example of this
>NONsense,  see: "Subj:  (Lasky not making) SENSE VS ANTISENSE"
>I agree that the terms "template" and "non-template" are more explicit
>(although they lack the punch of their predecessors). However, it seems to me
>that there's one use of the sense/antisense terminology that will not go
>away.  There are therapies, theories, and companies based on the idea that
>you can use ANTISENSE strategies to wipe out expression of the offending (or
>interesting, or expensive) gene in selected tissues.  How does that term
>affect the names of the other components?
>Here are the players:  I have not named them because I'd like to hear what
>you think makes sense (makes SENSE? I'M doing it.....).  
>What would you name these?
>1. The DNA strand that codes for the ANTISENSE RNA.
>2. The DNA strand that codes for the normal (SENSE RNA)
>3.  The complementary strand of #1
>4.  The complementary strand of #2 
>Cheers,  Jeanne

1.  Antisense is an oligonucleotide that is chemically produced and should
not exceed 15 bases for specific binding.  I don't know of antisense made
directly from DNA.

2. The coding strand is the strand of DNA that "looks like" mRNA from 5' to
3'. The non-coding strand is the strand of DNA that RNA polymerase actually
travels down to make the RNA. Kind of backwards, huh?
3.  There is none, since each antisense nucleotide is joined with another in
a machine (oligo synthesizer).

4. See answer #2 

                                                    Marci Wright
                                                    gene027 at

" We will have to  repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words 
and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good 

                      Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)

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