antisense RNA

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an·ti·sense RNA

the transcription product of the DNA antisense strand; it can play a role in the inhibition of translation.
See also: antisense DNA.

antisense RNA

RNA molecules transcribed, not from DNA in the usual manner, but from DNA strands complementary to those that produce normal messenger RNA. Antisense RNA occurs in nature and is inhibitory on gene action. It can be produced synthetically and offers such therapeutic possibilities as turning off viral genes.

antisense RNA

single-stranded RNA which can hybridize to complementary bases in a target NUCLEIC ACID molecule and inhibit its function. Where the target is the RNA transcript of a gene (i.e. mRNA), copied from the SENSE STRAND of DNA, the antisense RNA is a counter-transcript, copied from the antisense strand (see ANTICODING STRAND of the DNA, and complementary to the mRNA. HYBRIDIZATION between the two transcripts can block the EXPRESSION of the GENE. Antisense RNA regulates various systems, such as the REPLICATION of certain PLASMIDS and the transfer of some plasmids by CONJUGATION. It has also been exploited in GENETIC ENGINEERING, to produce, for example, TRANSGENIC tomatoes, in which the antisense RNA inactivates expression of genes coding for ENZYMES that are involved in the softening and rotting of the fruit. In this way the shelf-life of the tomatoes has been extended. Another example of the use of antisense is in the development of variants of certain flowering plants, that show reduced or erratic coloration of the FLOWERS.

antisense RNA

an RNA sequence which is complementary to a functional RNA.