Characterization of nucleic acids by tandem mass spectrometry - The second decade (2004-2013): From DNA to RNA and modified sequences

Schürch, Stefan (2016). Characterization of nucleic acids by tandem mass spectrometry - The second decade (2004-2013): From DNA to RNA and modified sequences. Mass Spectrometry Reviews, 35(4), pp. 483-523. Wiley 10.1002/mas.21442

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Nucleic acids play key roles in the storage and processing of genetic information, as well as in the regulation of cellular processes. Consequently, they represent attractive targets for drugs against gene-related diseases. On the other hand, synthetic oligonucleotide analogues have found application as chemotherapeutic agents targeting cellular DNA and RNA. The development of effective nucleic acid-based chemotherapeutic strategies requires adequate analytical techniques capable of providing detailed information about the nucleotide sequences, the presence of structural modifications, the formation of higher-order structures, as well as the interaction of nucleic acids with other cellular components and chemotherapeutic agents. Due to the impressive technical and methodological developments of the past years, tandem mass spectrometry has evolved to one of the most powerful tools supporting research related to nucleic acids. This review covers the literature of the past decade devoted to the tandem mass spectrometric investigation of nucleic acids, with the main focus on the fundamental mechanistic aspects governing the gas-phase dissociation of DNA, RNA, modified oligonucleotide analogues, and their adducts with metal ions. Additionally, recent findings on the elucidation of nucleic acid higher-order structures by tandem mass spectrometry are reviewed.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences (DCBP)

UniBE Contributor:

Schürch, Stefan


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 540 Chemistry
500 Science








Stefan Schürch

Date Deposited:

23 Sep 2016 15:41

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:39

Publisher DOI:





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