Issue 11, 2022

Photochemical modifications for DNA/RNA oligonucleotides


Light-triggered chemical reactions can provide excellent tools to investigate the fundamental mechanisms important in biology. Light is easily applicable and orthogonal to most cellular events, and its dose and locality can be controlled in tissues and cells. Light-induced conversion of photochemical groups installed on small molecules, proteins, and oligonucleotides can alter their functional states and thus the ensuing biological events. Recently, photochemical control of DNA/RNA structure and function has garnered attention thanks to the rapidly expanding photochemistry used in diverse biological applications. Photoconvertible groups can be incorporated in the backbone, ribose, and nucleobase of an oligonucleotide to undergo various irreversible and reversible light-induced reactions such as cleavage, crosslinking, isomerization, and intramolecular cyclization reactions. In this review, we gather a list of photoconvertible groups used in oligonucleotides and summarize their reaction characteristics, impacts on DNA/RNA thermal stability and structure, as well as their biological applications.

Graphical abstract: Photochemical modifications for DNA/RNA oligonucleotides

Article information

Article type
Review Article
06 Aug 2021
27 Nov 2021
First published
24 Feb 2022
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

RSC Adv., 2022,12, 6484-6507

Photochemical modifications for DNA/RNA oligonucleotides

A. Tavakoli and J. Min, RSC Adv., 2022, 12, 6484 DOI: 10.1039/D1RA05951C

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