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A deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or ribonucleic acid (RNA) sequence composed of two or more covalently linked nucleotides. Oligonucleotides are classified as deoxyribooligonucleotides or ribooligonucleotides. Fragments containing up to 50 nucleotides are generally termed oligonucleotides, and longer fragments are called polynucleotides. See Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), Ribonucleic acid (RNA)

A deoxyribooligonucleotide consists of a 5-carbon sugar called deoxyribose joined covalently to phosphate at the 5 and 3 carbons of this sugar to form an alternating, unbranched polymer. A ribooligonucleotide consists of a similar repeating structure where the 5-carbon sugar is ribose. Chemically synthesized oligonucleotides of predetermined sequence have proven to be very useful for studying a large number of biochemical processes. In the 1960s, these compounds were used to decipher the genetic code. Later, chemically prepared deoxyoligonucleotides were joined to form genes for transfer RNAs. Gene synthesis from synthetic deoxyoligonucleotides is now routinely used to prepare genes and modified genes for proteins having potential clinical applications. Oligonucleotides have also been used to diagnose genetic disorders and bacterial or viral infections. See Gene, Genetic code, Genetic engineering, Nucleic acid


A polynucleotide of low molecular weight, consisting of less than 20 nucleotide polymers.
References in periodicals archive ?
During this phase of development, ordering oligos can quickly add up to a very large bill.
AUMmirblocker self-transfecting oligos serve as competitive blockers/decoys against miRNAs to inhibit their binding with target mRNA.
As one example of the potential use of CpG oligos for dendritic cell activation, dendritic cells can be isolated from a cancer patient's blood, exposed to antigens from cancer cells in the presence of a CpG oligo, expanded in cell culture, then put back into the patient together with a CpG oligo to help fight cancer.
Having secured sole ownership of Proligo in August 2001, our acquisition of Genset Oligos is a further step of strategic importance, as it will enable us to supply customers with services along the entire value-added chain of drug development -- from drug targeting (genomics) to the production of active agents.
Suppose it were possible to inject active oligos into an area damaged by MS--a lesion.
Corporate optimism notwithstanding, antisense researchers admit to having difficulties using preclinical experiments to predict the human safety and efficacy of their oligos.
This method of hybrid capture also employs blocking oligos for library adaptors to maximize targeting efficiency.
These oligos are likely to permit researchers to attain better results from multiplexing experiments.
The astrocyte becomes important in later MS lesions, when it multiplies and eventually forms scar tissue that fills in where the oligos and myelin have been destroyed.
By observing in experiments that oligos somehow sneak into cells and suppress their complementary RNA sequences, researchers have opened up a whole range of interesting questions.