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Common Therapeutic Applications for Oligonucleotides

January 19, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Oligonucleotides continue to enhance medical research.

Oligonucleotides play a large role in both therapeutics and research. Their capabilities have led to researchers developing enhanced forms of these oligos to aid in the systemic enrichment of life’s challenges. Here are some common applications of oligos that are used today.

Allele-Specific Oligonucleotides

These probes are generally utilized in testing for diseases such as cystic fibrosis and sickle-cell anemia. Common point mutations are what this type of oligonucleotide specializes and thrives in. How they go about determining whether or not the samples mutate is by comparing two different types of oligonucleotides, one with a standard sequence and the other with the proposed disease. This indicator has proven to enhance the way laboratories catch diseases in their early stages.

Nucleic Acid Aptamers

These DNA or RNA sequences bind to a specific protein and are used as a sensor for cellular processes. In other words, they assist with the delivery of drugs in clinical trials for a variety of disorders and diseases such as: cancer, muscular dystrophy, and cardiac degeneration. Through either DNA or RNA synthesis, these aptamers become an enriched protein that offers a lot to the medicinal world.

Antisense Oligonucleotides

Antisense oligonucleotides are used to minimize the levels of protein synthesis. This type of oligonucleotide is the foundation for many clinical trials that are being performed in laboratories today. One of the most successful transitions into actual medical work, antisense therapy is available to help treat cytomegalovirus retinitis and certain cancer treatments. The sequences of these oligonucleotides allows for them to be susceptible to degradation and enter the cells with minimal resistance.


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