ol·​i·​go·​nu·​cle·​o·​tide | \ ə-ˌli-gə-ˈnü-klē-ə-ˌtīd How to pronounce oligonucleotide (audio) , -ˈnyü- \

Definition of oligonucleotide

: a short nucleic-acid chain usually consisting of up to approximately 20 nucleotides

Examples of oligonucleotide in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Yet another approach, with Ionis Pharmaceuticals, involves using antisense oligonucleotides, which are pieces of nucleic acids designed to bind to cells’ RNA — in this case, to fix a problem that leads to the production of abnormal glycogen. Laurie Mcginley, Anchorage Daily News, "Medical research, clinical trials for most diseases take a hit amid pandemic panic," 5 June 2020 To that end, the researchers turned to something called antisense oligonucleotides. Lydia Denworth, Scientific American, "A Breakthrough in Genetic Medicine for Rare Diseases," 3 Mar. 2020 The newest oligonucleotide drugs are designed to tackle rare diseases. Lydia Denworth, Scientific American, "A Breakthrough in Genetic Medicine for Rare Diseases," 3 Mar. 2020 But any chain that is short—usually 15 to 20 nucleotides—is considered an oligonucleotide. Lydia Denworth, Scientific American, "A Breakthrough in Genetic Medicine for Rare Diseases," 3 Mar. 2020 Targeted lowering of PrP in the brain may now be achievable using antisense oligonucleotides, or ASOs. Scientific American, "The Married Researchers Racing to Stop Prion Disease," 29 Feb. 2020 Free oligonucleotides did not cross the cell membrane. Scientific American, "The Power of Spheres," 25 Dec. 2019 But one patient advocacy group has publicly shared that Yu’s team has designed an oligonucleotide for a toddler with ataxia-telangiectasia, a neurodegenerative disorder, and hoped to begin to treat her this fall. Jocelyn Kaiser, Science | AAAS, "Drug tailored to one girl with brain disease paves way for similar customized treatments," 9 Oct. 2019 Krainer is co-founder of Stoke Therapeutics, a company focused on treating severe genetic disease using antisense oligonucleotides. Bret Stetka, Scientific American, "Antisense Drugs for Huntington’s, ALS and Prion Diseases Could Meet the Dire Need for Brain Treatments," 15 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'oligonucleotide.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of oligonucleotide

1942, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for oligonucleotide

Time Traveler

The first known use of oligonucleotide was in 1942

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Cite this Entry

“Oligonucleotide.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oligonucleotide. Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for oligonucleotide


oli·​go·​nu·​cle·​o·​tide | \ -ˈn(y)ü-klē-ə-ˌtīd How to pronounce oligonucleotide (audio) \

Medical Definition of oligonucleotide

: a relatively short single-stranded nucleic-acid chain (as an oligodeoxynucleotide or oligoribonucleotide) usually consisting of up to approximately 20 nucleotides

More from Merriam-Webster on oligonucleotide

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about oligonucleotide

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