Attachment of cationic moieties to oligonucleotides (ONs) promises not only to increase the binding affinity of antisense ONs by reducing charge repulsion between the two negatively charged strands of a duplex, but also to augment their in vivo stability against nucleases. In this study, polyamine functionality was introduced into ONs by means of 2′-amino-LNA scaffolds. The resulting ONs exhibited efficient binding towards ssDNA, ssRNA and dsDNA targets, and the 2′-amino-LNA analogue carrying a triaminated linker showed the most pronounced duplex- and triplex-stabilizing effect. Molecular modelling revealed that favourable conformational and electrostatic effects led to salt-bridge formation between positively charged polyamine moieties and the Watson–Hoogsteen groove of the dsDNA targets, resulting in the observed triplex stabilization. All the investigated monomers showed increased resistance against 3′-nucleolytic digestion relative to the non-functionalized controls.
- click chemistry
- molecular modelling