Targeting nucleic acids using dynamic combinatorial chemistry

Chandramathi R.Sherman Durai*, Margaret M. Harding

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Dynamic combinatorial chemistry (DCC) is a powerful method for the identification of novel ligands for the molecular recognition of receptor molecules. The method relies on self-assembly processes to generate libraries of compounds under reversible conditions, allowing a receptor molecule to select the optimal binding ligand from the mixture. However, while DCC is now an established field of chemistry, there are limited examples of the application of DCC to nucleic acids. The requirement to conduct experiments under physiologically relevant conditions, and avoid reaction with, or denaturation of, the target nucleic acid secondary structure, limits the choice of the reversible chemistry, and presents restrictions on the building block design. This review will summarize recent examples of applications of DCC to the recognition of nucleic acids. Studies with duplex DNA, quadruplex DNA, and RNA have utilized mainly thiol disulfide libraries, although applications of imine libraries, in combination with metal coordination, have been reported. The use of thiol disulfide libraries produces lead compounds with limited biostability, and hence design of stable analogues or mimics is required for many applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)671-680
Number of pages10
JournalAustralian Journal of Chemistry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


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