Deoxyribozymes: useful DNA catalysts in vitro and in vivo
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- Baum, D.A. & Silverman, S.K. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. (2008) 65: 2156. doi:10.1007/s00018-008-8029-y
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Deoxyribozymes (DNA enzymes; DNAzymes) are catalytic DNA sequences. Using the technique of in vitro selection, individual deoxyribozymes have been identified that catalyze RNA cleavage, RNA ligation, and a growing range of other chemical reactions. DNA enzymes have been used in vitro for applications such as biochemical RNA manipulation and analytical assays for metal ions, small organic compounds, oligonucleotides, and proteins. Deoxyribozymes have also been utilized as in vivo therapeutic agents to destroy specific mRNA targets. Although many conceptual and practical challenges remain to be addressed, deoxyribozymes have substantial promise to contribute meaningfully for applications both in vitro and in vivo.