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Special Issue "Discovery, Design, Synthesis, and Application of Nucleoside/Nucleotides"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Chemical Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Katherine Seley-Radtke
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD, USA
Interests: nucleos(t)ides; heterocycles; drug design; enzyme inhibitors; antiviral
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Theodore K. Dayie
Website
Co-Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Center for Biomolecular Structure and Organization, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA
Interests: NMR; SAXS; RNA; Riboswitches; Structural Biology and Dynamics; RNA-drug interactions; Chemical-Enzymatic Labeling of Nucleotides

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

For decades, nucleosides and nucleotides have formed the cornerstone of antiviral and anticancer therapeutics. In addition, some analogues have also made progress against parasites and bacteria and in other areas. This phenomenon is a direct result of their close structural similarity to naturally occurring nucleosides. As such, any changes to their diverse scaffolds can have profound effects. In general, nucleoside and nucleotide analogues target key biological pathways in the replication cycles of many diseases; However, some have also been shown to target human enzymes, which can sometimes result in deleterious consequences. In this regard, the primary issue with this class of drugs involves selectivity. A second major issue with this class of drugs is the often-times rapid development of resistance. As a result, there is a constant need for new and more effective analogues to fight emerging and reemerging infectious diseases and cancers; thus, this Special Issue will focus on some of the leading approaches to design, synthesis, and biological investigations, as well as the various applications for this highly relevant class of compounds and their corresponding prodrugs.

Prof. Katherine Seley-Radtke
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Nucleosides
  • Nucleotides
  • Prodrugs
  • Antiviral
  • Anticancer
  • Enzyme inhibitors

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial
Discovery, Design, Synthesis, and Application of Nucleoside/Nucleotides
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1526; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071526 - 27 Mar 2020
Abstract
For decades, nucleosides and nucleotides have formed the cornerstone of antiviral, antiparasitic and anticancer therapeutics and have been used as tools in exploring nucleic acid structure and function [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle
Muraymycin Nucleoside Antibiotics: Structure-Activity Relationship for Variations in the Nucleoside Unit
Molecules 2020, 25(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25010022 - 19 Dec 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Muraymycins are a subclass of naturally occurring nucleoside antibiotics with promising antibacterial activity. They inhibit the bacterial enzyme translocase I (MraY), a clinically yet unexploited target mediating an essential intracellular step of bacterial peptidoglycan biosynthesis. Several structurally simplified muraymycin analogues have already been [...] Read more.
Muraymycins are a subclass of naturally occurring nucleoside antibiotics with promising antibacterial activity. They inhibit the bacterial enzyme translocase I (MraY), a clinically yet unexploited target mediating an essential intracellular step of bacterial peptidoglycan biosynthesis. Several structurally simplified muraymycin analogues have already been synthesized for structure–activity relationship (SAR) studies. We now report on novel derivatives with unprecedented variations in the nucleoside unit. For the synthesis of these new muraymycin analogues, we employed a bipartite approach facilitating the introduction of different nucleosyl amino acid motifs. This also included thymidine- and 5-fluorouridine-derived nucleoside core structures. Using an in vitro assay for MraY activity, it was found that the introduction of substituents in the 5-position of the pyrimidine nucleobase led to a significant loss of inhibitory activity towards MraY. The loss of nucleobase aromaticity (by reduction of the uracil C5-C6 double bond) resulted in a ca. tenfold decrease in inhibitory potency. In contrast, removal of the 2′-hydroxy group furnished retained activity, thus demonstrating that modifications of the ribose moiety might be well-tolerated. Overall, these new SAR insights will guide the future design of novel muraymycin analogues for their potential development towards antibacterial drug candidates. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Investigation of 5’-Norcarbocyclic Nucleoside Analogues as Antiprotozoal and Antibacterial Agents
Molecules 2019, 24(19), 3433; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24193433 - 21 Sep 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Carbocyclic nucleosides have long played a role in antiviral, antiparasitic, and antibacterial therapies. Recent results from our laboratories from two structurally related scaffolds have shown promising activity against both Mycobacterium tuberculosis and several parasitic strains. As a result, a small structure activity relationship [...] Read more.
Carbocyclic nucleosides have long played a role in antiviral, antiparasitic, and antibacterial therapies. Recent results from our laboratories from two structurally related scaffolds have shown promising activity against both Mycobacterium tuberculosis and several parasitic strains. As a result, a small structure activity relationship study was designed to further probe their activity and potential. Their synthesis and the results of the subsequent biological activity are reported herein. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis of Cyclobutane Analogue 4: Preparation of Purine and Pyrimidine Carbocyclic Nucleoside Derivatives
Molecules 2019, 24(18), 3235; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24183235 - 05 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The coupling of 2-bromo-3-benzoyloxycyclobutanone with purine under basic conditions produces two regioisomers consisting of the N-7 and N-9 alkylated products in equal amounts in their racemic forms. The distribution of the isomers is consistent with the charge delocalization between the N-7 and N-9 [...] Read more.
The coupling of 2-bromo-3-benzoyloxycyclobutanone with purine under basic conditions produces two regioisomers consisting of the N-7 and N-9 alkylated products in equal amounts in their racemic forms. The distribution of the isomers is consistent with the charge delocalization between the N-7 and N-9 positions of the purinyl anion. The structural assignments and relative stereochemistry of each regioisomer were based on 1 and 2D NMR techniques. The relative stereochemistry of the C-2 and C-3 substituents in each regioisomer was the trans orientation consistent with steric factors in the coupling step. The N-9 regioisomer was reduced with sodium borohydride to give the all trans cyclobutanol as the major product in a stereoselective manner. The alcohol was debenzoylated with sodium methoxide in a transesterification step to give the nucleoside analogue. The regioisomeric pyrimidine nucleosides were prepared by Vorbrüggen coupling of the 3-hydroxymethylcyclobutanone triflate with either thymine or uracil followed by stereoselective hydride addition. Regiospecificity of the coupling at the N-1 position was observed and stereoselective reduction to the trans-disubstituted cyclobutanol structure assignments was based on NMR data. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Probing the Effects of Pyrimidine Functional Group Switches on Acyclic Fleximer Analogues for Antiviral Activity
Molecules 2019, 24(17), 3184; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24173184 - 02 Sep 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Due to their ability to inhibit viral DNA or RNA replication, nucleoside analogues have been used for decades as potent antiviral therapeutics. However, one of the major limitations of nucleoside analogues is the development of antiviral resistance. In that regard, flexible nucleoside analogues [...] Read more.
Due to their ability to inhibit viral DNA or RNA replication, nucleoside analogues have been used for decades as potent antiviral therapeutics. However, one of the major limitations of nucleoside analogues is the development of antiviral resistance. In that regard, flexible nucleoside analogues known as “fleximers” have garnered attention over the years due to their ability to survey different amino acids in enzyme binding sites, thus overcoming the potential development of antiviral resistance. Acyclic fleximers have previously demonstrated antiviral activity against numerous viruses including Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), Ebola virus (EBOV), and, most recently, flaviviruses such as Dengue (DENV) and Yellow Fever Virus (YFV). Due to these interesting results, a Structure Activity Relationship (SAR) study was pursued in order to analyze the effect of the pyrimidine functional group and acyl protecting group on antiviral activity, cytotoxicity, and conformation. The results of those studies are presented herein. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of the Position of the Chemically Modified 5-Furyl-2′-Deoxyuridine Nucleoside on the Thrombin DNA Aptamer–Protein Complex: Structural Insights into Aptamer Response from MD Simulations
Molecules 2019, 24(16), 2908; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24162908 - 10 Aug 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Aptamers are functional nucleic acids that bind to a range of targets (small molecules, proteins or cells) with a high affinity and specificity. Chemically-modified aptamers are of interest because the incorporation of novel nucleobase components can enhance aptamer binding to target proteins, while [...] Read more.
Aptamers are functional nucleic acids that bind to a range of targets (small molecules, proteins or cells) with a high affinity and specificity. Chemically-modified aptamers are of interest because the incorporation of novel nucleobase components can enhance aptamer binding to target proteins, while fluorescent base analogues permit the design of functional aptasensors that signal target binding. However, since optimally modified nucleoside designs have yet to be identified, information about how to fine tune aptamer stability and target binding affinity is required. The present work uses molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to investigate modifications to the prototypical thrombin-binding aptamer (TBA), which is a 15-mer DNA sequence that folds into a G-quadruplex structure connected by two TT loops and one TGT loop. Specifically, we modeled a previously synthesized thymine (T) analog, namely 5-furyl-2′-deoxyuridine (5FurU), into each of the six aptamer locations occupied by a thymine base in the TT or TGT loops of unbound and thrombin bound TBA. This modification and aptamer combination were chosen as a proof-of-principle because previous experimental studies have shown that TBA displays emissive sensitivity to target binding based on the local environment polarity at different 5FurU modification sites. Our simulations reveal that the chemically-modified base imparts noticeable structural changes to the aptamer without affecting the global conformation. Depending on the modification site, 5FurU performance is altered due to changes in the local environment, including the modification site structural dynamics, degree of solvent exposure, stacking with neighboring bases, and interactions with thrombin. Most importantly, these changes directly correlate with the experimentally-observed differences in the stability, binding affinity and emissive response of the modified aptamers. Therefore, the computational protocols implemented in the present work can be used in subsequent studies in a predictive way to aid the fine tuning of aptamer target recognition for use as biosensors (aptasensors) and/or therapeutics. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
New HSV-1 Anti-Viral 1′-Homocarbocyclic Nucleoside Analogs with an Optically Active Substituted Bicyclo[2.2.1]Heptane Fragment as a Glycoside Moiety
Molecules 2019, 24(13), 2446; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24132446 - 03 Jul 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
New 1′-homocarbanucleoside analogs with an optically active substituted bicyclo[2.2.1]heptane skeleton as sugar moiety were synthesized. The pyrimidine analogs with uracil, 5-fluorouracil, thymine and cytosine and key intermediate with 6-chloropurine (5) as nucleobases were synthesized by a selective Mitsunobu reaction on the [...] Read more.
New 1′-homocarbanucleoside analogs with an optically active substituted bicyclo[2.2.1]heptane skeleton as sugar moiety were synthesized. The pyrimidine analogs with uracil, 5-fluorouracil, thymine and cytosine and key intermediate with 6-chloropurine (5) as nucleobases were synthesized by a selective Mitsunobu reaction on the primary hydroxymethyl group in the presence of 5-endo-hydroxyl group. Adenine and 6-substituted adenine homonucleosides were obtained by the substitution of the 6-chlorine atom of the key intermediate 5 with ammonia and selected amines, and 6-methoxy- and 6-ethoxy substituted purine homonucleosides by reaction with the corresponding alkoxides. No derivatives appeared active against entero, yellow fever, chikungunya, and adeno type 1viruses. Two compounds (6j and 6d) had lower IC50 (15 ± 2 and 21 ± 4 µM) and compound 6f had an identical value of IC50 (28 ± 4 µM) to that of acyclovir, suggesting that the bicyclo[2.2.1]heptane skeleton could be further studied to find a candidate for sugar moiety of the nucleosides. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
(F)uridylylated Peptides Linked to VPg1 of Foot-and- Mouth Disease Virus (FMDV): Design, Synthesis and X-Ray Crystallography of the Complexes with FMDV RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase
Molecules 2019, 24(13), 2360; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24132360 - 26 Jun 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) is an RNA virus belonging to the Picornaviridae family that contains three small viral proteins (VPgs), named VPg1, VPg2 and VPg3, linked to the 5′-end of the viral genome. These VPg proteins act as primers for RNA replication, which [...] Read more.
Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) is an RNA virus belonging to the Picornaviridae family that contains three small viral proteins (VPgs), named VPg1, VPg2 and VPg3, linked to the 5′-end of the viral genome. These VPg proteins act as primers for RNA replication, which is initiated by the consecutive binding of two UMP molecules to the hydroxyl group of Tyr3 in VPg. This process, termed uridylylation, is catalyzed by the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase named 3Dpol. 5-Fluorouridine triphosphate (FUTP) is a potent competitive inhibitor of VPg uridylylation. Peptide analysis showed FUMP covalently linked to the Tyr3 of VPg. This fluorouridylylation prevents further incorporation of the second UMP residue. The molecular basis of how the incorporated FUMP blocks the incorporation of the second UMP is still unknown. To investigate the mechanism of inhibition of VPg uridylylation by FUMP, we have prepared a simplified 15-mer model of VPg1 containing FUMP and studied its x-ray crystal structure in complex with 3Dpol. Unfortunately, the fluorouridylylated VPg1 was disordered and not visible in the electron density maps; however, the structure of 3Dpol in the presence of VPg1-FUMP showed an 8 Å movement of the β9-α11 loop of the polymerase towards the active site cavity relative to the complex of 3Dpol with VPg1-UMP. The conformational rearrangement of this loop preceding the 3Dpol B motif seems to block the access of the template nucleotide to the catalytic cavity. This result may be useful in the design of new antivirals against not only FMDV but also other picornaviruses, since all members of this family require the uridylylation of their VPg proteins to initiate the viral RNA synthesis. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
An Expeditious Total Synthesis of 5′-Deoxy-toyocamycin and 5′-Deoxysangivamycin
Molecules 2019, 24(4), 737; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24040737 - 19 Feb 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
In present paper, an expeditious total synthesis of naturally occurring 5′-deoxytoyocamycin and 5′-deoxysangivamycin was accomplished. Because of the introduction of a benzoyl group at N-6 of 4-amino-5-cyano-6-bromo-pyrrolo[2,3-d]pyrimidine, a Vorbrüggen glycosylation with 1,2,3-tri-O-acetyl-5-deoxy-β-D-ribofuranose afforded a completely regioselective N-9 [...] Read more.
In present paper, an expeditious total synthesis of naturally occurring 5′-deoxytoyocamycin and 5′-deoxysangivamycin was accomplished. Because of the introduction of a benzoyl group at N-6 of 4-amino-5-cyano-6-bromo-pyrrolo[2,3-d]pyrimidine, a Vorbrüggen glycosylation with 1,2,3-tri-O-acetyl-5-deoxy-β-D-ribofuranose afforded a completely regioselective N-9 glycosylation product, which is unambiguously confirmed by X-ray diffraction analysis. All of the involved intermediates were well characterized by various spectra. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Efficient Synthesis of UDP-Furanoses via 4,5-Dicyanoimidazole(DCI)-Promoted Coupling of Furanosyl-1-Phosphates with Uridine Phosphoropiperidate
Molecules 2019, 24(4), 655; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24040655 - 13 Feb 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
A P(V)-N activation method based on nucleoside phosphoropiperidate/DCI system has been developed for improved synthesis of diverse UDP-furanoses. The reaction conditions including temperature, amount of activator, and reaction time were optimized to alleviate the degradation of UDP-furanoses to cyclic phosphates. In addition, an [...] Read more.
A P(V)-N activation method based on nucleoside phosphoropiperidate/DCI system has been developed for improved synthesis of diverse UDP-furanoses. The reaction conditions including temperature, amount of activator, and reaction time were optimized to alleviate the degradation of UDP-furanoses to cyclic phosphates. In addition, an efficient and facile phosphoramidite route was employed for the preparation of furanosyl-1-phosphates. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Novel Bispecific Aptamer Enhances Immune Cytotoxicity Against MUC1-Positive Tumor Cells by MUC1-CD16 Dual Targeting
Molecules 2019, 24(3), 478; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24030478 - 29 Jan 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
A promising strategy in cancer immunotherapy is the employment of a bispecific agent that can bind with both tumor markers and immunocytes for recruitment of lymphocytes to tumor sites and enhancement of anticancer immune reactions. Mucin1 (MUC1) is a tumor marker overexpressed in [...] Read more.
A promising strategy in cancer immunotherapy is the employment of a bispecific agent that can bind with both tumor markers and immunocytes for recruitment of lymphocytes to tumor sites and enhancement of anticancer immune reactions. Mucin1 (MUC1) is a tumor marker overexpressed in almost all adenocarcinomas, making it a potentially important therapeutic target. CD16 is expressed in several types of immunocytes, including NK cells, γδ-T cells, monocytes, and macrophages. In this study, we constructed the first bispecific aptamer (BBiApt) targeting both MUC1 and CD16. This aptamer consisted of two MUC1 aptamers and two CD16 aptamers linked together by three 60 nt DNA spacers. Compared with monovalent MUC1 or CD16 aptamers, BBiApt showed more potent avidity to both MUC1-positive tumor cells and CD16-positive immunocytes. Competition experiments indicated that BBiApt and monovalent aptamers bound to the same sites on the target cells. Moreover, BBiApt recruited more CD16-positive immunocytes around MUC1-positive tumor cells and enhanced the immune cytotoxicity against the tumor cells in vitro. The results suggest that, apart from bispecific antibodies, bispecific aptamers may also potentially serve as a novel strategy for targeted enhancement of antitumor immune reactions against MUC1-expressing malignancies. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Next Generation Sequencing-Based Molecular Marker Development: A Case Study in Betula Alnoides
Molecules 2018, 23(11), 2963; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23112963 - 13 Nov 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Betula alnoides is a fast-growing valuable indigenous tree species with multiple uses in the tropical and warm subtropical regions in South-East Asia and southern China. It has been proved to be tetraploid in most parts of its distribution in China. In the present [...] Read more.
Betula alnoides is a fast-growing valuable indigenous tree species with multiple uses in the tropical and warm subtropical regions in South-East Asia and southern China. It has been proved to be tetraploid in most parts of its distribution in China. In the present study, next generation sequencing (NGS) technology was applied to develop numerous SSR markers for B. alnoides, and 64,376 contig sequences of 106,452 clean reads containing 164,357 candidate SSR loci were obtained. Among the derived SSR repeats, mono-nucleotide was the main type (77.05%), followed by di- (10.18%), tetra- (6.12%), tri- (3.56%), penta- (2.14%) and hexa-nucleotide (0.95%). The short nucleotide sequence repeats accounted for 90.79%. Among the 291 repeat motifs, AG/CT (46.33%) and AT/AT (44.15%) were the most common di-nucleotide repeats, while AAT/ATT (48.98%) was the most common tri-nucleotide repeats. A total of 2549 primer sets were designed from the identified putative SSR regions of which 900 were randomly selected for evaluation of amplification successfulness and detection of polymorphism if amplified successfully. Three hundred and ten polymorphic markers were obtained through testing with 24 individuals from B. alnoides natural forest in Jingxi County, Guangxi, China. The number of alleles (NA) of each marker ranged from 2 to 19 with a mean of 5.14. The observed (HO) and expected (HE) heterozygosities varied from 0.04 to 1.00 and 0.04 to 0.92 with their means being 0.64 and 0.57, respectively. Shannon-Wiener diversity index (I) ranged from 0.10 to 2.68 with a mean of 1.12. Cross-species transferability was further examined for 96 pairs of SSR primers randomly selected, and it was found that 48.96–84.38% of the primer pairs could successfully amplify each of six related Betula species. The obtained SSR markers can be used to study population genetics and molecular marker assisted breeding, particularly genome-wide association study of these species in the future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Novel 5′-Norcarbocyclic Derivatives of Bicyclic Pyrrolo- and Furano[2,3-d]Pyrimidine Nucleosides
Molecules 2018, 23(10), 2654; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23102654 - 16 Oct 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Here we report the synthesis and biological activity of new 5′-norcarbocyclic derivatives of bicyclic pyrrolo- and furano[2,3-d]pyrimidines with different substituents in the heterocyclic ring. Lead compound 3i, containing 6-pentylphenyl substituent, displays inhibitory activity with respect to a number of tumor cells with [...] Read more.
Here we report the synthesis and biological activity of new 5′-norcarbocyclic derivatives of bicyclic pyrrolo- and furano[2,3-d]pyrimidines with different substituents in the heterocyclic ring. Lead compound 3i, containing 6-pentylphenyl substituent, displays inhibitory activity with respect to a number of tumor cells with a moderate selectivity index value. Compound 3i induces cell death by the apoptosis pathway with the dissipation of mitochondrial potential. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
2′-O-Methyl-8-methylguanosine as a Z-Form RNA Stabilizer for Structural and Functional Study of Z-RNA
Molecules 2018, 23(10), 2572; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23102572 - 09 Oct 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
In contrast to Z-DNA that was stabilized and well-studied for its structure by chemical approaches, the stabilization and structural study of Z-RNA remains a challenge. In this study, we developed a Z-form RNA stabilizer m8Gm, and demonstrated that incorporation of m [...] Read more.
In contrast to Z-DNA that was stabilized and well-studied for its structure by chemical approaches, the stabilization and structural study of Z-RNA remains a challenge. In this study, we developed a Z-form RNA stabilizer m8Gm, and demonstrated that incorporation of m8Gm into RNA can markedly stabilize the Z-RNA at low salt conditions. Using the m8Gm-contained Z-RNA, we determined the structure of Z-RNA and investigated the interaction of protein and Z-RNA. Full article
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Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Open AccessReview
Solid-Phase Chemical Synthesis of Stable Isotope-Labeled RNA to Aid Structure and Dynamics Studies by NMR Spectroscopy
Molecules 2019, 24(19), 3476; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24193476 - 25 Sep 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
RNA structure and dynamic studies by NMR spectroscopy suffer from chemical shift overlap and line broadening, both of which become worse as RNA size increases. Incorporation of stable isotope labels into RNA has provided several solutions to these limitations. Nevertheless, the only method [...] Read more.
RNA structure and dynamic studies by NMR spectroscopy suffer from chemical shift overlap and line broadening, both of which become worse as RNA size increases. Incorporation of stable isotope labels into RNA has provided several solutions to these limitations. Nevertheless, the only method to circumvent the problem of spectral overlap completely is the solid-phase chemical synthesis of RNA with labeled RNA phosphoramidites. In this review, we summarize the practical aspects of this methodology for NMR spectroscopy studies of RNA. These types of investigations lie at the intersection of chemistry and biophysics and highlight the need for collaborative efforts to tackle the integrative structural biology problems that exist in the RNA world. Finally, examples of RNA structure and dynamic studies using labeled phosphoramidites are highlighted. Full article
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