sense versus anti-sense terminology

James Graham graham at biodec.wustl.edu
Thu Jun 13 15:55:41 EST 1996


Your life will become much simpler if you refer to the two DNA
strands as the "template" and "non-template" strands in the context 
of the transcription process which initiates gene expression. 
This terminology is so straightforward that it needs no explanation
-quite unlike the "sense" vs "anti-sense" or proposed "transcribed"

As for the original coinage of the term "sense-strand", that would 
require some digging, much like determing the origin of a term like 
"fast lane", except perhaps a lot easier. :)

PS."Sense", "plus", "RNA-identical", "non-template" are all interchangeable,
much to the dismay of the student of molecular biology. The term "sense"
refers directly to the fact that this strand consists of a series of 
nucleotide bases which makes "sense" in specifying a string of proteins
via the universal genetic code. The other strand when read in context
of the genetic code would specify a peptide irrelevant to the gene of 
interest, or perhaps no peptide at all, due to base triplets specifing
peptide chain termination.

Let us know what you find.


J. Graham PhD 
Biology Department 
Washington University of St. Louis 
(Listowner, Amazons-l Digest)  

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