Review of α-nucleosides: from discovery, synthesis to properties and potential applications
Nucleic acids play an important role in the genetic process of organisms; nucleosides, the building block of nucleic acids, typically exist in nature in a β configuration. As an anomer of β-nucleoside, α-nucleoside is extremely rare in nature. Because of their unique and interesting properties such as high stability, specific parallel double-stranded structure and some other biochemical properties, α-nucleosides have attracted wide attention. Various methods including but not limited to the mercuri procedure, fusion reaction and Vorbrüggen glycosylation have been used to synthesize α-nucleosides and their derivatives. However, to the best of our knowledge, there is no review that has summarized these works. Therefore, we systematically review the discovery, synthesis, properties, and potential applications of α-nucleosides in this article and look to provide a reference for subsequent studies in the coming years.