In molecular biology, Morpholino describes a molecule in a particular structural family that is used to modify gene expression. Morpholino oligomers (oligos) are a kind of antisense, a technology used to block access of other molecules to specific sequences within nucleic acid. Morpholinos block small (~25 base) regions of the base-pairing surfaces of ribonucleic acid (RNA). Most Morpholinos are used as research tools for reverse genetics by knocking down gene function.

This article discusses only the Morpholino antisense oligos, which are nucleic acid analogs. The word "morpholino" can occur in other chemical names, referring to chemicals containing a six-membered morpholine ring. To help avoid confusion with other morpholine-containing molecules, when describing oligos "Morpholino" is often capitalized as a trade name, though this usage is not consistent throughout the scientific literature. Morpholinos are sometimes referred to as "PMO" (phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligo).

Gene knockdown is achieved by preventing cells from making a targeted proteinMorpholinos can also modify the splicing of pre-mRNA. Knocking down gene expression is a powerful method for learning about the function of a particular protein; in similar manner, causing a specific exon to be spliced out of a protein can help to determine the function of the protein moiety encoded by that exon or can sometimes knock down the protein activity altogether. These molecules have been applied to studies in several model organisms, including mice, zebrafish, frogs, and sea urchins.

Morpholinos are also in development as pharmaceutical therapeutics targeted against pathogenic organisms such as bacteria or viruses and for amelioration of genetic diseases. These synthetic oligos were conceived by James E. Summerton (Gene Tools, LLC) and developed in collaboration with Dwight D. Weller (formerly Antivirals Inc, renamed AVI BioPharma Inc., renamed Sarepta_Therapeutics Inc.).

Read more about Morpholino:  Structure, Function, Specificity, Stability and Non-antisense Effects, Delivery

Other articles related to "morpholino, morpholinos":

Morpholino - Delivery
... For a Morpholino to be effective, it must be delivered past the cell membrane into the cytosol of a cell ... Once in the cytosol, Morpholinos freely diffuse between the cytosol and nucleus, as demonstrated by the nuclear splice-modifying activity of ... techniques for delivery into cultured cells include the Endo-Porter peptide (which causes the Morpholino to be released from endosomes), the Special Delivery system (no longer commercially available, used ...
Techniques Used in Reverse Genetics - Gene Silencing
... as RNA interference (RNAi), and the development of gene knockdown using Morpholino oligos, have made disrupting gene expression an accessible technique ... a simple alternative for gene knockdown is Morpholino antisense oligos ... Morpholinos bind and block access to the target mRNA without requiring the activity of cellular proteins and without necessarily accelerating mRNA degradation ...
AVI Bio Pharma - Products
... Its primary products are Morpholino oligomers (PMOs), synthetic nucleic acid analogs that were conceived of by James Summerton and invented by Summerton with Dwight Weller, and are being ... Since Morpholino oligomers can form sequence-specific double-stranded complexes with RNA they are suitable for use in antisense therapy ... In this application a Morpholino oligomer binds to messenger RNA produced by a known disease-causing gene to prevent it from being translated in to protein ...
Gene Tools
... a limited liability company located in Philomath, Oregon, United States that manufactures Morpholino antisense oligos and delivery reagents ... and began regularly shipping custom-sequence Morpholino oligos in 2000 ... Jim Summerton, is a pioneer in antisense research, conceived of and was co-inventor of the Morpholino antisense oligo structural type and founded the first ...
MES (buffer)
... MES is the common name for the compound 2-(N-morpholino)ethanesulfonic acid ... Synonyms include 2-morpholinoethanesulfonic acid 2-(4-morpholino)ethanesulfonic acid 2-(N-morpholino)ethanesulfonic acid 2-(4-morpholino)ethanesulfonic ...