Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • News & Views
  • Published:

Molecular DIY with hairpins and hammerheads

Ribozymes can inhibit gene expression in a sequence-specific manner by catalysing cleavage of target messenger RNAs. They can also be used to for DIY (do-it-yourself) surgery on defective RNAs. The potential therapeutic applications of these ribozyme properties were discussed at a recent meeting.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout


  1. Pley, H.W., Flaherty, K.M. & Mckay, D.B. Three-dimensional structure of a hammerhead ribozyme. Nature 372, 68–74 (1994).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Akhtar, S. & Juliano, R.L. Cellular uptake and intracellular fate of antisense oligonucleotides. Trends cellBiol. 2, 139–144 (1992).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Elkins, D.A. & Rossi, J.J. Cellular Delivery of ribozymes in Delivery Strategies for Antisense Oligonucleotide Therapeutics (ed. Akhtar, S.) (CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, USA, 1995).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Akhtar, S., James, H. & Gibson, I. Molecular DIY with hairpins and hammerheads. Nat Med 1, 300–302 (1995).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing