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Nucleic Acids Res. 1993 Jul 11;21(14):3197-203.

Antisense oligodeoxynucleotides: synthesis, biophysical and biological evaluation of oligodeoxynucleotides containing modified pyrimidines.

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  • 1ISIS Pharmaceuticals, Carlsbad, CA 92008.


6-Azathymidine, 6-aza-2'-deoxycytidine, 6-methyl-2'-deoxyuridine, and 5,6-dimethyl-2'-deoxyuridine nucleosides have been converted to phosphoramidite synthons and incorporated into oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs). ODNs containing from 1 to 5 of these modified pyrimidines were compared with known 2'-deoxyuridine, 5-iodo-2'-deoxyuridine, 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine, 5-fluoro-2'-deoxyuridine, 5-bromo-2'-deoxycytidine, and 5-methyl-2'-deoxycytidine nucleoside modifications. Stability in 10% heat inactivated fetal calf serum, binding affinities to RNA and DNA complements, and ability to support RNase H degradation of targeted RNA in DNA-RNA heteroduplexes were measured to determine structure-activity relationships. 6-Azathymidine capped ODNs show an enhanced stability in serum (7- to 12-fold increase over unmodified ODN) while maintaining hybridization properties similar to the unmodified ODNs. A 22-mer ODN having its eight thymine bases replaced by eight 6-azathymines or 5-bromouracils hybridized to a target RNA and did not inhibit RNase H mediated degradation.

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