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Molecules 2010, 15(8), 5423-5444; doi:10.3390/molecules15085423

Molecular Evolution of Functional Nucleic Acids with Chemical Modifications

1,*  and 2
1 Chemistry Laboratory of Artificial Biomolecules (CLAB), Graduate School of Engineering, Gunma University, 1-5-1 Tenjin-cho, Kiryu, Gunma 376-8515, Japan 2 Frontier Institute for Biomolecular Engineering Research (FIBER) and Faculty of Frontiers of Innovative Research in Science and Technology (FIRST), Konan University, 7-1-20 Minatojima-Minamimachi, Chuo-Ku, Kobe 650-0047, Japan
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 June 2010 / Revised: 14 July 2010 / Accepted: 6 August 2010 / Published: 9 August 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalytic Nucleic Acids)
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Nucleic acids are attractive materials for creating functional molecules that have applications as catalysts, specific binders, and molecular switches. Nucleic acids having such functions can be obtained by random screening, typically using in vitro selection methods. These methods have helped explore the potential abilities of nucleic acids and steadily contributed to their evolution, i.e., creation of RNA/DNA enzymes, aptamers, and aptazymes. Chemical modification would be a key means to further increase their performance, e.g., expansion of function diversity, enhancement of activity, and improvement of biostability for biological use. Indeed, in the past two decades, random screening involving chemical modification, post-SELEX chemical modification, and rational design methods have been advanced, and combining and integrating these methods may produce a new class of functional nucleic acids. This review focuses on the effectiveness of chemical modifications on the evolution of nucleic acids as functional molecules and the outlook for related technologies.
Keywords: chemical modification; random screening; post-SELEX; rational design; PCR; PEX chemical modification; random screening; post-SELEX; rational design; PCR; PEX
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Kuwahara, M.; Sugimoto, N. Molecular Evolution of Functional Nucleic Acids with Chemical Modifications. Molecules 2010, 15, 5423-5444.

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