Use of Deoxyribozymes for Gene Knockdown

Author(s): Lun-Quan Sun

Journal Name: Medicinal Chemistry Reviews - Online (Discontinued)

Volume 2 , Issue 1 , 2005


The most established nucleic acid based approach to gene suppression at the RNA level is through antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs). These compounds form heteroduplex with target RNA, which are thought to either block its function or mediate its destruction by activation of RNase H. Alternatively, RNA can be targeted by catalytic RNA such as the hammerhead ribozyme. Ribozymes have the advantage of being equipped with their own RNA cleavage apparatus, and are therefore independent of host nuclear protein activity. At present, the utility of ribozyme oligonucleotides is restricted by the relative difficulty in synthesising active molecules with sufficient resistance to nuclease degradation. Recently the power of in vitro selection has been used to evolve catalytic DNA sequences with RNA cleavage specificity and activity rivalling the very best ribozymes, while maintaining the more robust chemistry of an ODN. These deoxyribozymes or DNAzymes have tremendous potential as gene suppression agents for both target validation and therapeutic applications. A number of studies evaluating the biological activity of these compounds have shown promising results. However, as with other oligonucleotide-based strategies, future exploitation of this approach may depend on accessory technology to assist with the accessibility of a target, which is folded by its own secondary structure and hidden within the intracellular compartment.

Keywords: dnazyme, gene knockdown, deoxyribozyme, oligonucleotides, molecular therapy

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Article Details

Year: 2005
Published on: 01 March, 2012
Page: [81 - 87]
Pages: 7
DOI: 10.2174/1567203052997040

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