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J Org Chem. 2014 Jul 3;79(13):6256-68. doi: 10.1021/jo500994c. Epub 2014 Jun 24.

Synthesis, hybridization characteristics, and fluorescence properties of oligonucleotides modified with nucleobase-functionalized locked nucleic acid adenosine and cytidine monomers.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Idaho , Moscow, Idaho 83844-2343, United States.


Conformationally restricted nucleotides such as locked nucleic acid (LNA) are very popular as affinity-, specificity-, and stability-enhancing modifications in oligonucleotide chemistry to produce probes for nucleic acid targeting applications in molecular biology, biotechnology, and medicinal chemistry. Considerable efforts have been devoted in recent years to optimize the biophysical properties of LNA through additional modification of the sugar skeleton. We recently introduced C5-functionalization of LNA uridines as an alternative and synthetically more straightforward approach to improve the biophysical properties of LNA. In the present work, we set out to test the generality of this concept by studying the characteristics of oligonucleotides modified with four different C5-functionalized LNA cytidine and C8-functionalized LNA adenosine monomers. The results strongly suggest that C5-functionalization of LNA pyrimidines is indeed a viable approach for improving the binding affinity, target specificity, and/or enzymatic stability of LNA-modified ONs, whereas C8-functionalization of LNA adenosines is detrimental to binding affinity and specificity. These insights will impact the future design of conformationally restricted nucleotides for nucleic acid targeting applications.

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