Evaluating the specificity of antisense oligonucleotide conjugates. A DNA array analysis.
Antisense oligonucleotides are potentially powerful tools for selective control of cellular and viral gene expression. Crucial to successful application of this approach is the specificity of the oligonucleotide for the chosen RNA target. Here we apply DNA array technology to examine the specificity of antisense oligonucleotide treatments. The molecules used in these studies consisted of phosphorothioate oligomers linked to the Antennapedia (Ant) delivery peptide. The antisense oligonucleotide component was complementary to a site flanking the AUG of the MDR1 message, which codes for P-glycoprotein, a membrane ATPase associated with multidrug resistance in tumor cells. Using a DNA array of 2059 genes, we analyzed cellular responses to molecules comprised of Ant peptide-oligonucleotide conjugates, as well as to the Ant peptide alone. Besides the expected reduction in MDR1 message level, 37 other genes (approximately 2% of those tested) showed changes of comparable magnitude. The validity of the array results was confirmed for selected genes using Northern blots to assess messenger RNA levels. These results suggest that studies using antisense oligonucleotide technology to modulate gene expression need to be interpreted with caution.
Fisher, AA; Ye, D; Sergueev, DS; Fisher, MH; Shaw, BR; Juliano, RL
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