More and more confused about making SENSE

Rafael Maldonado rafael at
Mon Jan 8 15:57:37 EST 1996

On 5 Jan 1996, Erik A. Williams wrote:
> My understanding has alsways been consistent with what Mick Jones writes:
> >5'-AAGCTTCTACTGAGT-3'  DNA strand 1
> >3'-TTCGAAGATGACTCA-5'  DNA strand 2
> >         |
> >         |
> >         V
> >5'-AAGCUUCUACUGAGU-3'  RNA strand 3
> >
> >In my book the following nomenclature seems okay;
> >
> >Strand 1 = SENSE strand (because it is the same sequence as the 
> >transcribed RNA [strand 3])
> >Strand 2 = ANTISENSE strand (this strand can bind to in vivo transcribed 
> >RNA, form a duplex and inhibit gene expression, i.e. Antisense therapy).
> >
> >In the old days Strand 2 was called the CODING strand because it was the DNA
> >strand that was the
> >template used to make the transcribed RNA (strand 3), and hence strand 1 was
> which seems to be in disagreement with what Dr. Lasky writes, although I 
> may be reading him wrong.  This is how I learned it, and to me this is
> what makes sense (sorry, bad pun).

I think as Dr. Lasky wrote. CODING means translation, not transcription. 
So, CODING strand is the strand with the same sequence than the mRNA, since 
mRNA is the DECODED nucleic acid during translation.

The other strand maybe be called NON-CODING or TEMPLATE, because is the 
template for the mRNA.

Most textbooks agree on that, and I think most of the people also.

Sorry I cannot help in the sense/antisense debate. I learnt this stuff in 
Spanish, and the literal translation of the words sense/antisense don't 
make too much sense in Spanish, so it is never used (except with the 
meaning of anti-sense RNA).


Rafael Maldonado                             |  La cita ha sido
room 6160 Eccles Institute of Human Genetics |  
Department of Human Genetics		     |  retirada por respeto
University of Utah			     |
Salt Lake City, Utah 84112. USA.	     |  a la propiedad 
Rafael.Maldonado at           |
Rafael at	             |  intelectual.
Tel: 801-581-4429			     |
Fax: 801-585-3910			     |

More information about the Methods mailing list