A series of sulf(on)ate and phosph(on)ate amino acid phosphoramidate analogues of deoxynucleotides were synthesized as potential substrates for HIV-1 reverse transcriptase. Taurine, L-cysteic acid, 3-phosphono-L-alanine, O-sulfonato-L-serine, and O-phospho-L-serine were investigated as leaving groups in an enzyme catalyzed DNA synthesis protocol. Among these analogues, the phosphonate congener performed best and 3-phosphono-L-alanine can be considered as an excellent mimic of the pyrophosphate (PPi) moiety of deoxyadenosine triphosphate, to be used in enzymatic synthesis of nucleic acids. During a single nucleotide incorporation assay the use of 3-phosphono-L-Ala-dAMP as substrate resulted in 95% conversion to a P + 1 strand in 60 min at 50 μM (a concentration 10 times less than found for L-Asp-dAMP) and with improved incorporation kinetics and less stalling. For the sequences investigated, the efficiency of the incorporation is base dependent and decreases in the order (A ≥ T = G > C). In all cases, the incorporation follows Watson–Crick rules.
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