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    Phosphonomethyl Oligonucleotides as Backbone-Modified Artificial Genetic Polymers

    Liu, C. and Cozens, C. and Jaziri, F. and Rozenski, J. and Marechal, Amandine and Dumbre, S. and Pezo, V. and Marliere, P. and Pinheiro, Vitor B. and Groaz, E. and Herdewijn, P. (2018) Phosphonomethyl Oligonucleotides as Backbone-Modified Artificial Genetic Polymers. Journal of the American Chemical Society 140 (21), pp. 6690-6699. ISSN 0002-7863.

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    Although several synthetic or xenobiotic nucleic acids (XNAs) have been shown to be viable genetic materials in vitro, major hurdles remain for their in vivo applications, particularly orthogonality. The availability of XNAs that do not interact with natural nucleic acids and are not affected by natural DNA processing enzymes, as well as specialized XNA processing enzymes that do not interact with natural nucleic acids, is essential. Here, we report 3′–2′ phosphonomethyl-threosyl nucleic acid (tPhoNA) as a novel XNA genetic material and a prime candidate for in vivo XNA applications. We established routes for the chemical synthesis of phosphonate nucleic acids and phosphorylated monomeric building blocks, and we demonstrated that DNA duplexes were destabilized upon replacement with tPhoNA. We engineered a novel tPhoNA synthetase enzyme and, with a previously reported XNA reverse transcriptase, demonstrated that tPhoNA is a viable genetic material (with an aggregate error rate of approximately 17 × 10–3 per base) compatible with the isolation of functional XNAs. In vivo experiments to test tPhoNA orthogonality showed that the E. coli cellular machinery had only very limited potential to access genetic information in tPhoNA. Our work is the first report of a synthetic genetic material modified in both sugar and phosphate backbone moieties and represents a significant advance in biorthogonality toward the introduction of XNA systems in vivo.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Natural Sciences
    Depositing User: Vitor Bernardes pinheiro
    Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2018 12:53
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:42


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