Modified Nucleic Acids: Expanding the Capabilities of Functional Oligonucleotides

Steven Ochoa, Valeria T. Milam
2020 Molecules  
In the last three decades, oligonucleotides have been extensively investigated as probes, molecular ligands and even catalysts within therapeutic and diagnostic applications. The narrow chemical repertoire of natural nucleic acids, however, imposes restrictions on the functional scope of oligonucleotides. Initial efforts to overcome this deficiency in chemical diversity included conservative modifications to the sugar-phosphate backbone or the pendant base groups and resulted in enhanced in
more » ... in enhanced in vivo performance. More importantly, later work involving other modifications led to the realization of new functional characteristics beyond initial intended therapeutic and diagnostic prospects. These results have inspired the exploration of increasingly exotic chemistries highly divergent from the canonical nucleic acid chemical structure that possess unnatural physiochemical properties. In this review, the authors highlight recent developments in modified oligonucleotides and the thrust towards designing novel nucleic acid-based ligands and catalysts with specifically engineered functions inaccessible to natural oligonucleotides.
doi:10.3390/molecules25204659 pmid:33066073 fatcat:75is7omjercnxegco3emhrtiny