Double-headed nucleotides as xeno nucleic acids: information storage and polymerase recognition

Kasper M. Beck, Marie B. Krogh, Mick Hornum, Paul T. Ludford, Yitzhak Tor, Poul Nielsen*

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Xeno nucleic acids (XNAs) are artificial genetic systems based on sugar-modified nucleotides. Herein, we investigate double-headed nucleotides as a new XNA. A new monomer,AT, is presented, and together with previous double-headed nucleotide monomers, new nucleic acid motifs consisting of up to five consecutive A·T base pairs have been obtained. Sections composed entirely of double-headed nucleotides are well-tolerated within a DNA duplex and can condense the genetic information. For instance, a 13-mer duplex is condensed to an 11-mer modified duplex containing four double-headed nucleotides while simultaneously improving duplex thermal stability with +14.0 °C. Also, the transfer of information from double-headed to natural nucleotides by DNA polymerases has been examined. The first double-headed nucleoside triphosphate was prepared but could not be recognized and incorporated by the tested DNA polymerases. On the other hand, it proved possible for Therminator DNA polymerase to transfer the information of a double-headed nucleotide in a template sequence to natural DNA under controlled conditions.

TidsskriftOrganic and Biomolecular Chemistry
Udgave nummer36
Sider (fra-til)7213-7223
StatusUdgivet - 2020


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