Loading...
RNA Cleavage: A reaction that severs one of the sugar-phosphate linkages of the phosphodiester backbone of RNA. It is catalyzed enzymatically, chemically, or by radiation. Cleavage may be exonucleolytic, or endonucleolytic.Single-Strand Specific DNA and RNA Endonucleases: Enzymes that catalyze the endonucleolytic cleavage of single-stranded regions of DNA or RNA molecules while leaving the double-stranded regions intact. They are particularly useful in the laboratory for producing "blunt-ended" DNA molecules from DNA with single-stranded ends and for sensitive GENETIC TECHNIQUES such as NUCLEASE PROTECTION ASSAYS that involve the detection of single-stranded DNA and RNA.Endonucleases: Enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of the internal bonds and thereby the formation of polynucleotides or oligonucleotides from ribo- or deoxyribonucleotide chains. EC 3.1.-.DNA: A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine).Base Sequence: The sequence of PURINES and PYRIMIDINES in nucleic acids and polynucleotides. It is also called nucleotide sequence.DNA, Single-Stranded: A single chain of deoxyribonucleotides that occurs in some bacteria and viruses. It usually exists as a covalently closed circle.DNA Restriction Enzymes: Enzymes that are part of the restriction-modification systems. They catalyze the endonucleolytic cleavage of DNA sequences which lack the species-specific methylation pattern in the host cell's DNA. Cleavage yields random or specific double-stranded fragments with terminal 5'-phosphates. The function of restriction enzymes is to destroy any foreign DNA that invades the host cell. Most have been studied in bacterial systems, but a few have been found in eukaryotic organisms. They are also used as tools for the systematic dissection and mapping of chromosomes, in the determination of base sequences of DNAs, and have made it possible to splice and recombine genes from one organism into the genome of another. EC 3.21.1.RNA: A polynucleotide consisting essentially of chains with a repeating backbone of phosphate and ribose units to which nitrogenous bases are attached. RNA is unique among biological macromolecules in that it can encode genetic information, serve as an abundant structural component of cells, and also possesses catalytic activity. (Rieger et al., Glossary of Genetics: Classical and Molecular, 5th ed)Deoxyribonucleases, Type II Site-Specific: Enzyme systems containing a single subunit and requiring only magnesium for endonucleolytic activity. The corresponding modification methylases are separate enzymes. The systems recognize specific short DNA sequences and cleave either within, or at a short specific distance from, the recognition sequence to give specific double-stranded fragments with terminal 5'-phosphates. Enzymes from different microorganisms with the same specificity are called isoschizomers. EC 3.1.21.4.Molecular Sequence Data: Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.Nucleic Acid Conformation: The spatial arrangement of the atoms of a nucleic acid or polynucleotide that results in its characteristic 3-dimensional shape.RNA, Viral: Ribonucleic acid that makes up the genetic material of viruses.Endodeoxyribonucleases: A group of enzymes catalyzing the endonucleolytic cleavage of DNA. They include members of EC 3.1.21.-, EC 3.1.22.-, EC 3.1.23.- (DNA RESTRICTION ENZYMES), EC 3.1.24.- (DNA RESTRICTION ENZYMES), and EC 3.1.25.-.Polymorphism, Single-Stranded Conformational: Variation in a population's DNA sequence that is detected by determining alterations in the conformation of denatured DNA fragments. Denatured DNA fragments are allowed to renature under conditions that prevent the formation of double-stranded DNA and allow secondary structure to form in single stranded fragments. These fragments are then run through polyacrylamide gels to detect variations in the secondary structure that is manifested as an alteration in migration through the gels.DNA, Viral: Deoxyribonucleic acid that makes up the genetic material of viruses.RNA, Small Interfering: Small double-stranded, non-protein coding RNAs (21-31 nucleotides) involved in GENE SILENCING functions, especially RNA INTERFERENCE (RNAi). Endogenously, siRNAs are generated from dsRNAs (RNA, DOUBLE-STRANDED) by the same ribonuclease, Dicer, that generates miRNAs (MICRORNAS). The perfect match of the siRNAs' antisense strand to their target RNAs mediates RNAi by siRNA-guided RNA cleavage. siRNAs fall into different classes including trans-acting siRNA (tasiRNA), repeat-associated RNA (rasiRNA), small-scan RNA (scnRNA), and Piwi protein-interacting RNA (piRNA) and have different specific gene silencing functions.DNA Breaks, Single-Stranded: Interruptions in one of the strands of the sugar-phosphate backbone of double-stranded DNA.Escherichia coli: A species of gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic, rod-shaped bacteria (GRAM-NEGATIVE FACULTATIVELY ANAEROBIC RODS) commonly found in the lower part of the intestine of warm-blooded animals. It is usually nonpathogenic, but some strains are known to produce DIARRHEA and pyogenic infections. Pathogenic strains (virotypes) are classified by their specific pathogenic mechanisms such as toxins (ENTEROTOXIGENIC ESCHERICHIA COLI), etc.Deoxyribonucleases: Enzymes which catalyze the hydrolases of ester bonds within DNA. EC 3.1.-.DNA Repair: The reconstruction of a continuous two-stranded DNA molecule without mismatch from a molecule which contained damaged regions. The major repair mechanisms are excision repair, in which defective regions in one strand are excised and resynthesized using the complementary base pairing information in the intact strand; photoreactivation repair, in which the lethal and mutagenic effects of ultraviolet light are eliminated; and post-replication repair, in which the primary lesions are not repaired, but the gaps in one daughter duplex are filled in by incorporation of portions of the other (undamaged) daughter duplex. Excision repair and post-replication repair are sometimes referred to as "dark repair" because they do not require light.Substrate Specificity: A characteristic feature of enzyme activity in relation to the kind of substrate on which the enzyme or catalytic molecule reacts.RNA Splicing: The ultimate exclusion of nonsense sequences or intervening sequences (introns) before the final RNA transcript is sent to the cytoplasm.DNA-Binding Proteins: Proteins which bind to DNA. The family includes proteins which bind to both double- and single-stranded DNA and also includes specific DNA binding proteins in serum which can be used as markers for malignant diseases.DNA Damage: Injuries to DNA that introduce deviations from its normal, intact structure and which may, if left unrepaired, result in a MUTATION or a block of DNA REPLICATION. These deviations may be caused by physical or chemical agents and occur by natural or unnatural, introduced circumstances. They include the introduction of illegitimate bases during replication or by deamination or other modification of bases; the loss of a base from the DNA backbone leaving an abasic site; single-strand breaks; double strand breaks; and intrastrand (PYRIMIDINE DIMERS) or interstrand crosslinking. Damage can often be repaired (DNA REPAIR). If the damage is extensive, it can induce APOPTOSIS.DNA, Bacterial: Deoxyribonucleic acid that makes up the genetic material of bacteria.Plasmids: Extrachromosomal, usually CIRCULAR DNA molecules that are self-replicating and transferable from one organism to another. They are found in a variety of bacterial, archaeal, fungal, algal, and plant species. They are used in GENETIC ENGINEERING as CLONING VECTORS.Nucleic Acid Hybridization: Widely used technique which exploits the ability of complementary sequences in single-stranded DNAs or RNAs to pair with each other to form a double helix. Hybridization can take place between two complimentary DNA sequences, between a single-stranded DNA and a complementary RNA, or between two RNA sequences. The technique is used to detect and isolate specific sequences, measure homology, or define other characteristics of one or both strands. (Kendrew, Encyclopedia of Molecular Biology, 1994, p503)RNA, Ribosomal: The most abundant form of RNA. Together with proteins, it forms the ribosomes, playing a structural role and also a role in ribosomal binding of mRNA and tRNAs. Individual chains are conventionally designated by their sedimentation coefficients. In eukaryotes, four large chains exist, synthesized in the nucleolus and constituting about 50% of the ribosome. (Dorland, 28th ed)Mutation: Any detectable and heritable change in the genetic material that causes a change in the GENOTYPE and which is transmitted to daughter cells and to succeeding generations.RNA Editing: A process that changes the nucleotide sequence of mRNA from that of the DNA template encoding it. Some major classes of RNA editing are as follows: 1, the conversion of cytosine to uracil in mRNA; 2, the addition of variable number of guanines at pre-determined sites; and 3, the addition and deletion of uracils, templated by guide-RNAs (RNA, GUIDE).Binding Sites: The parts of a macromolecule that directly participate in its specific combination with another molecule.Nucleic Acid Denaturation: Disruption of the secondary structure of nucleic acids by heat, extreme pH or chemical treatment. Double strand DNA is "melted" by dissociation of the non-covalent hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic interactions. Denatured DNA appears to be a single-stranded flexible structure. The effects of denaturation on RNA are similar though less pronounced and largely reversible.DNA Cleavage: A reaction that severs one of the covalent sugar-phosphate linkages between NUCLEOTIDES that compose the sugar phosphate backbone of DNA. It is catalyzed enzymatically, chemically or by radiation. Cleavage may be exonucleolytic - removing the end nucleotide, or endonucleolytic - splitting the strand in two.Amino Acid Sequence: The order of amino acids as they occur in a polypeptide chain. This is referred to as the primary structure of proteins. It is of fundamental importance in determining PROTEIN CONFORMATION.RNA, Bacterial: Ribonucleic acid in bacteria having regulatory and catalytic roles as well as involvement in protein synthesis.DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases: Enzymes that catalyze DNA template-directed extension of the 3'-end of an RNA strand one nucleotide at a time. They can initiate a chain de novo. In eukaryotes, three forms of the enzyme have been distinguished on the basis of sensitivity to alpha-amanitin, and the type of RNA synthesized. (From Enzyme Nomenclature, 1992).DNA, Circular: Any of the covalently closed DNA molecules found in bacteria, many viruses, mitochondria, plastids, and plasmids. Small, polydisperse circular DNA's have also been observed in a number of eukaryotic organisms and are suggested to have homology with chromosomal DNA and the capacity to be inserted into, and excised from, chromosomal DNA. It is a fragment of DNA formed by a process of looping out and deletion, containing a constant region of the mu heavy chain and the 3'-part of the mu switch region. Circular DNA is a normal product of rearrangement among gene segments encoding the variable regions of immunoglobulin light and heavy chains, as well as the T-cell receptor. (Riger et al., Glossary of Genetics, 5th ed & Segen, Dictionary of Modern Medicine, 1992)DNA Replication: The process by which a DNA molecule is duplicated.Polymerase Chain Reaction: In vitro method for producing large amounts of specific DNA or RNA fragments of defined length and sequence from small amounts of short oligonucleotide flanking sequences (primers). The essential steps include thermal denaturation of the double-stranded target molecules, annealing of the primers to their complementary sequences, and extension of the annealed primers by enzymatic synthesis with DNA polymerase. The reaction is efficient, specific, and extremely sensitive. Uses for the reaction include disease diagnosis, detection of difficult-to-isolate pathogens, mutation analysis, genetic testing, DNA sequencing, and analyzing evolutionary relationships.Oligonucleotides: Polymers made up of a few (2-20) nucleotides. In molecular genetics, they refer to a short sequence synthesized to match a region where a mutation is known to occur, and then used as a probe (OLIGONUCLEOTIDE PROBES). (Dorland, 28th ed)Oligodeoxyribonucleotides: A group of deoxyribonucleotides (up to 12) in which the phosphate residues of each deoxyribonucleotide act as bridges in forming diester linkages between the deoxyribose moieties.Electrophoresis, Agar Gel: Electrophoresis in which agar or agarose gel is used as the diffusion medium.Recombination, Genetic: Production of new arrangements of DNA by various mechanisms such as assortment and segregation, CROSSING OVER; GENE CONVERSION; GENETIC TRANSFORMATION; GENETIC CONJUGATION; GENETIC TRANSDUCTION; or mixed infection of viruses.Deoxyribonuclease IV (Phage T4-Induced): An enzyme which catalyzes the endonucleolytic cleavage of phosphodiester bonds at purinic or apyrimidinic sites (AP-sites) to produce 5'-Phosphooligonucleotide end products. The enzyme prefers single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) and was formerly classified as EC 3.1.4.30.Kinetics: The rate dynamics in chemical or physical systems.RNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.DNA-(Apurinic or Apyrimidinic Site) Lyase: A DNA repair enzyme that catalyses the excision of ribose residues at apurinic and apyrimidinic DNA sites that can result from the action of DNA GLYCOSYLASES. The enzyme catalyzes a beta-elimination reaction in which the C-O-P bond 3' to the apurinic or apyrimidinic site in DNA is broken, leaving a 3'-terminal unsaturated sugar and a product with a terminal 5'-phosphate. This enzyme was previously listed under EC 3.1.25.2.Models, Molecular: Models used experimentally or theoretically to study molecular shape, electronic properties, or interactions; includes analogous molecules, computer-generated graphics, and mechanical structures.Nucleic Acid Renaturation: The reformation of all, or part of, the native conformation of a nucleic acid molecule after the molecule has undergone denaturation.DNA Helicases: Proteins that catalyze the unwinding of duplex DNA during replication by binding cooperatively to single-stranded regions of DNA or to short regions of duplex DNA that are undergoing transient opening. In addition DNA helicases are DNA-dependent ATPases that harness the free energy of ATP hydrolysis to translocate DNA strands.Protein Binding: The process in which substances, either endogenous or exogenous, bind to proteins, peptides, enzymes, protein precursors, or allied compounds. Specific protein-binding measures are often used as assays in diagnostic assessments.RNA, Double-Stranded: RNA consisting of two strands as opposed to the more prevalent single-stranded RNA. Most of the double-stranded segments are formed from transcription of DNA by intramolecular base-pairing of inverted complementary sequences separated by a single-stranded loop. Some double-stranded segments of RNA are normal in all organisms.Rec A Recombinases: A family of recombinases initially identified in BACTERIA. They catalyze the ATP-driven exchange of DNA strands in GENETIC RECOMBINATION. The product of the reaction consists of a duplex and a displaced single-stranded loop, which has the shape of the letter D and is therefore called a D-loop structure.Exonucleases: Enzymes that catalyze the release of mononucleotides by the hydrolysis of the terminal bond of deoxyribonucleotide or ribonucleotide chains.Restriction Mapping: Use of restriction endonucleases to analyze and generate a physical map of genomes, genes, or other segments of DNA.Deoxyribonuclease EcoRI: One of the Type II site-specific deoxyribonucleases (EC 3.1.21.4). It recognizes and cleaves the sequence G/AATTC at the slash. EcoRI is from E coliRY13. Several isoschizomers have been identified. EC 3.1.21.-.DNA, Superhelical: Circular duplex DNA isolated from viruses, bacteria and mitochondria in supercoiled or supertwisted form. This superhelical DNA is endowed with free energy. During transcription, the magnitude of RNA initiation is proportional to the DNA superhelicity.Transcription, Genetic: The biosynthesis of RNA carried out on a template of DNA. The biosynthesis of DNA from an RNA template is called REVERSE TRANSCRIPTION.Deoxyribonuclease BamHI: One of the Type II site-specific deoxyribonucleases (EC 3.1.21.4). It recognizes and cleaves the sequence G/GATCC at the slash. BamHI is from Bacillus amyloliquefaciens N. Numerous isoschizomers have been identified. EC 3.1.21.-.Nucleic Acid Heteroduplexes: Double-stranded nucleic acid molecules (DNA-DNA or DNA-RNA) which contain regions of nucleotide mismatches (non-complementary). In vivo, these heteroduplexes can result from mutation or genetic recombination; in vitro, they are formed by nucleic acid hybridization. Electron microscopic analysis of the resulting heteroduplexes facilitates the mapping of regions of base sequence homology of nucleic acids.RNA Viruses: Viruses whose genetic material is RNA.Cell Line: Established cell cultures that have the potential to propagate indefinitely.Cloning, Molecular: The insertion of recombinant DNA molecules from prokaryotic and/or eukaryotic sources into a replicating vehicle, such as a plasmid or virus vector, and the introduction of the resultant hybrid molecules into recipient cells without altering the viability of those cells.RNA Interference: A gene silencing phenomenon whereby specific dsRNAs (RNA, DOUBLE-STRANDED) trigger the degradation of homologous mRNA (RNA, MESSENGER). The specific dsRNAs are processed into SMALL INTERFERING RNA (siRNA) which serves as a guide for cleavage of the homologous mRNA in the RNA-INDUCED SILENCING COMPLEX. DNA METHYLATION may also be triggered during this process.DNA Primers: Short sequences (generally about 10 base pairs) of DNA that are complementary to sequences of messenger RNA and allow reverse transcriptases to start copying the adjacent sequences of mRNA. Primers are used extensively in genetic and molecular biology techniques.Bacteriophage phi X 174: The type species of the genus MICROVIRUS. A prototype of the small virulent DNA coliphages, it is composed of a single strand of supercoiled circular DNA, which on infection, is converted to a double-stranded replicative form by a host enzyme.Deoxyribonucleases, Type I Site-Specific: Enzyme systems containing three different subunits and requiring ATP, S-adenosylmethionine, and magnesium for endonucleolytic activity to give random double-stranded fragments with terminal 5'-phosphates. They function also as DNA-dependent ATPases and modification methylases, catalyzing the reactions of EC 2.1.1.72 and EC 2.1.1.73 with similar site-specificity. The systems recognize specific short DNA sequences and cleave at sites remote from the recognition sequence. Enzymes from different microorganisms with the same specificity are called isoschizomers. EC 3.1.21.3.Templates, Genetic: Macromolecular molds for the synthesis of complementary macromolecules, as in DNA REPLICATION; GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION of DNA to RNA, and GENETIC TRANSLATION of RNA into POLYPEPTIDES.Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length: Variation occurring within a species in the presence or length of DNA fragment generated by a specific endonuclease at a specific site in the genome. Such variations are generated by mutations that create or abolish recognition sites for these enzymes or change the length of the fragment.DNA Probes: Species- or subspecies-specific DNA (including COMPLEMENTARY DNA; conserved genes, whole chromosomes, or whole genomes) used in hybridization studies in order to identify microorganisms, to measure DNA-DNA homologies, to group subspecies, etc. The DNA probe hybridizes with a specific mRNA, if present. Conventional techniques used for testing for the hybridization product include dot blot assays, Southern blot assays, and DNA:RNA hybrid-specific antibody tests. Conventional labels for the DNA probe include the radioisotope labels 32P and 125I and the chemical label biotin. The use of DNA probes provides a specific, sensitive, rapid, and inexpensive replacement for cell culture techniques for diagnosing infections.Bacterial Proteins: Proteins found in any species of bacterium.Molecular Weight: The sum of the weight of all the atoms in a molecule.Bacteriophages: Viruses whose hosts are bacterial cells.Protein Structure, Tertiary: The level of protein structure in which combinations of secondary protein structures (alpha helices, beta sheets, loop regions, and motifs) pack together to form folded shapes called domains. Disulfide bridges between cysteines in two different parts of the polypeptide chain along with other interactions between the chains play a role in the formation and stabilization of tertiary structure. Small proteins usually consist of only one domain but larger proteins may contain a number of domains connected by segments of polypeptide chain which lack regular secondary structure.Transcription Factors: Endogenous substances, usually proteins, which are effective in the initiation, stimulation, or termination of the genetic transcription process.RNA Polymerase II: A DNA-dependent RNA polymerase present in bacterial, plant, and animal cells. It functions in the nucleoplasmic structure and transcribes DNA into RNA. It has different requirements for cations and salt than RNA polymerase I and is strongly inhibited by alpha-amanitin. EC 2.7.7.6.Base Pairing: Pairing of purine and pyrimidine bases by HYDROGEN BONDING in double-stranded DNA or RNA.Coliphages: Viruses whose host is Escherichia coli.DNA Mutational Analysis: Biochemical identification of mutational changes in a nucleotide sequence.Cytosine: A pyrimidine base that is a fundamental unit of nucleic acids.RNA, Catalytic: RNA that has catalytic activity. The catalytic RNA sequence folds to form a complex surface that can function as an enzyme in reactions with itself and other molecules. It may function even in the absence of protein. There are numerous examples of RNA species that are acted upon by catalytic RNA, however the scope of this enzyme class is not limited to a particular type of substrate.Escherichia coli Proteins: Proteins obtained from ESCHERICHIA COLI.Deoxyribonuclease I: An enzyme capable of hydrolyzing highly polymerized DNA by splitting phosphodiester linkages, preferentially adjacent to a pyrimidine nucleotide. This catalyzes endonucleolytic cleavage of DNA yielding 5'-phosphodi- and oligonucleotide end-products. The enzyme has a preference for double-stranded DNA.Base Composition: The relative amounts of the PURINES and PYRIMIDINES in a nucleic acid.Promoter Regions, Genetic: DNA sequences which are recognized (directly or indirectly) and bound by a DNA-dependent RNA polymerase during the initiation of transcription. Highly conserved sequences within the promoter include the Pribnow box in bacteria and the TATA BOX in eukaryotes.DNA Breaks, Double-Stranded: Interruptions in the sugar-phosphate backbone of DNA, across both strands adjacently.Genes: A category of nucleic acid sequences that function as units of heredity and which code for the basic instructions for the development, reproduction, and maintenance of organisms.Flap Endonucleases: Endonucleases that remove 5' DNA sequences from a DNA structure called a DNA flap. The DNA flap structure occurs in double-stranded DNA containing a single-stranded break where the 5' portion of the downstream strand is too long and overlaps the 3' end of the upstream strand. Flap endonucleases cleave the downstream strand of the overlap flap structure precisely after the first base-paired nucleotide, creating a ligatable nick.RNA Folding: The processes of RNA tertiary structure formation.Saccharomyces cerevisiae: A species of the genus SACCHAROMYCES, family Saccharomycetaceae, order Saccharomycetales, known as "baker's" or "brewer's" yeast. The dried form is used as a dietary supplement.DNA, Recombinant: Biologically active DNA which has been formed by the in vitro joining of segments of DNA from different sources. It includes the recombination joint or edge of a heteroduplex region where two recombining DNA molecules are connected.HeLa Cells: The first continuously cultured human malignant CELL LINE, derived from the cervical carcinoma of Henrietta Lacks. These cells are used for VIRUS CULTIVATION and antitumor drug screening assays.RNA, Transfer: The small RNA molecules, 73-80 nucleotides long, that function during translation (TRANSLATION, GENETIC) to align AMINO ACIDS at the RIBOSOMES in a sequence determined by the mRNA (RNA, MESSENGER). There are about 30 different transfer RNAs. Each recognizes a specific CODON set on the mRNA through its own ANTICODON and as aminoacyl tRNAs (RNA, TRANSFER, AMINO ACYL), each carries a specific amino acid to the ribosome to add to the elongating peptide chains.Introns: Sequences of DNA in the genes that are located between the EXONS. They are transcribed along with the exons but are removed from the primary gene transcript by RNA SPLICING to leave mature RNA. Some introns code for separate genes.Exodeoxyribonucleases: A family of enzymes that catalyze the exonucleolytic cleavage of DNA. It includes members of the class EC 3.1.11 that produce 5'-phosphomonoesters as cleavage products.Sequence Analysis, DNA: A multistage process that includes cloning, physical mapping, subcloning, determination of the DNA SEQUENCE, and information analysis.Sequence Alignment: The arrangement of two or more amino acid or base sequences from an organism or organisms in such a way as to align areas of the sequences sharing common properties. The degree of relatedness or homology between the sequences is predicted computationally or statistically based on weights assigned to the elements aligned between the sequences. This in turn can serve as a potential indicator of the genetic relatedness between the organisms.RNA, Antisense: RNA molecules which hybridize to complementary sequences in either RNA or DNA altering the function of the latter. Endogenous antisense RNAs function as regulators of gene expression by a variety of mechanisms. Synthetic antisense RNAs are used to effect the functioning of specific genes for investigative or therapeutic purposes.