High-affinity DNA targeting using readily accessible mimics of N2'-functionalized 2'-amino-?-L-LNA. Academic Article uri icon



  • N2'-Pyrene-functionalized 2'-amino-?-L-LNAs (locked nucleic acids) display extraordinary affinity toward complementary DNA targets due to favorable preorganization of the pyrene moieties for hybridization-induced intercalation. Unfortunately, the synthesis of these monomers is challenging (~20 steps, <3% overall yield), which has precluded full characterization of DNA-targeting applications based on these materials. Access to more readily accessible functional mimics would be highly desirable. Here we describe short synthetic routes to a series of O2'-intercalator-functionalized uridine and N2'-intercalator-functionalized 2'-N-methyl-2'-aminouridine monomers and demonstrate, via thermal denaturation, UV-vis absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy experiments, that several of them mimic the DNA-hybridization properties of N2'-pyrene-functionalized 2'-amino-?-L-LNAs. For example, oligodeoxyribonucleotides (ONs) modified with 2'-O-(coronen-1-yl)methyluridine monomer Z, 2'-O-(pyren-1-yl)methyluridine monomer Y, or 2'-N-(pyren-1-ylmethyl)-2'-N-methylaminouridine monomer Q display prominent increases in thermal affinity toward complementary DNA relative to reference strands (average ?T(m)/mod up to +12 °C), pronounced DNA-selectivity, and higher target specificity than 2'-amino-?-L-LNA benchmark probes. In contrast, ONs modified with 2'-O-(2-napthyl)uridine monomer W, 2'-O-(pyren-1-yl)uridine monomer X or 2'-N-(pyren-1-ylcarbonyl)-2'-N-methylaminouridine monomer S display very low affinity toward DNA targets. This demonstrates that even conservative alterations in linker chemistry, linker length, and surface area of the appended intercalators have marked impact on DNA-hybridization characteristics. Straightforward access to high-affinity building blocks such as Q, Y, and Z is likely to accelerate their use in DNA-targeting applications within nucleic acid based diagnostics, therapeutics, and material science.

publication date

  • June 17, 2011



  • Biomimetics
  • DNA
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Intercalating Agents
  • Molecular Structure
  • Oligonucleotides


PubMed ID

  • 21827174

Additional Document Info


  • 76


  • 17