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Artif DNA PNA XNA. 2012 Jan-Mar;3(1):5-13. doi: 10.4161/adna.19185.

(α,α-dimethyl)glycyl (dmg) PNAs: achiral PNA analogs that form stronger hybrids with cDNA relative to isosequential RNA.

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Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Division of Organic Chemistry, National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, India.


The design and facile synthesis of sterically constrained new analogs of PNA having gem-dimethyl substitutions on glycine (dmg-PNA-T) is presented. The PNA oligomers [aminoethyl dimethylglycyl (aedmg) and aminopropyl dimethylglycyl (apdmg)] synthesized from the monomers 6 and 12) effected remarkable stabilization of homothyminePNA(2):homoadenine DNA/RNA triplexes and mixed base sequence duplexes with target cDNA or RNA. They show a higher binding to DNA relative to that with isosequential RNA. This may be a structural consequence of the sterically rigid gem-dimethyl group, imposing a pre-organized conformation favorable for complex formation with cDNA. The results complement our previous work that had demonstrated that cyclohexanyl-PNAs favor binding with cRNA compared with cDNA and imply that the biophysical and structural properties of PNAs can be directed by introduction of the right rigidity in PNA backbone devoid of chirality. This approach of tweaking selectivity in binding of PNA constructs by installing gem-dimethyl substitution in PNA backbone can be extended to further fine-tuning by similar substitution in the aminoethyl segment as well either individually or in conjunction with present substitution.


(α,α-dimethyl)glycyl PNA; PNA-DNA binding; gem-dimethylglycyl PNA; peptide nucleic acid; sterically constrained PNA analog; α-aminoisobutyric acid PNA

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