Antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) have been validated as therapeutic agents and an important tool in molecular biology. Indeed, ASOs are used either in vitro or in vivo to generate mRNA selective knockouts. They can be used for human therapy since ASOs can inhibit specifically target genes especially whose are difficult to target with small molecules inhibitors or neutralizing antibodies. However, despite their specificity and broadness of use, some practical obstacles remain unsolved in antisense pharmacology, such as insufficient stability due to nucleases degradation activity, and poor cellular delivery as a result of low cellular uptake difficult biological membrane crossing. Moreover, in many cases, potential off-target effects and immunostimulation are also part of the problems derived from their use. In this review, we will discuss ASOs, their chemistry, limitation of use, some solutions to increase stability, and finally some of their therapeutical application.
Part of the book: Antisense Therapy