The Journal of organic chemistry

A general method for the synthesis of 2'-O-cyanoethylated oligoribonucleotides having promising hybridization affinity for DNA and RNA and enhanced nuclease resistance.

PMID 16323857


[reaction: see text] An effective method for the synthesis of 2'-O-cyanoethylated oligoribonucleotides as a new class of 2'-O-modified RNAs was developed. The reaction of appropriately protected ribonucleoside derivatives with acrylonitrile in t-BuOH in the presence of Cs2CO3 gave 2'-O-cyanoethylated ribonucleoside derivatives in excellent yields, which were converted by a successive selective deprotection/protection strategy to 2'-O-cyanoethylated 5'-O-dimethoxytritylribonucleoside 3'-phosphoramidite derivatives in high yields. Fully 2'-O-cyanoethylated oligoribonucleotides, (Uce)12 and (GceAceCceUce)3, were successfully synthesized in the phosphoramidite approach by use of the phosphoramidite building blocks. It was also found that oligoribonucleotides having a 2'-O-cyanoethylated ribonucleoside (Uce, Cce, Ace, or Gce) could be obtained by the selective removal of the TBDMS group from fully protected oligoribonucleotide intermediates without loss of the cyanoethyl group by use of NEt3 x 3HF as a desilylating reagent. The detailed T(m) experiments revealed that oligoribonucleotides containing 2'-O-cyanoethylated ribonucleosides have higher hybridization affinity for both DNA and RNA than the corresponding unmodified and 2'-O-methylated oligoribonucleotides. In addition, introduction of a cyanoethyl group into the 2'-position of RNA resulted in significant increase of nuclease resistance toward snake venom and bovine spleen phosphodiesterases compared with that of the methyl group.

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