Elucidation of the gas-phase structure of a sugar-modified DNA analogue

Hari, Yvonne; Schürch, Stefan; Leumann, Christian (4 September 2015). Elucidation of the gas-phase structure of a sugar-modified DNA analogue (Unpublished). In: SCS Fall Meeting. Lausanne. 04.09.2015.

Official URL: http://www.scg.ch

Antisense oligonucleotides are medical agents for the treatment of genetic diseases that are designed to interact specifically with mRNA. This interaction either induces enzymatic degradation of the targeted RNA or modifies processing pathways, e.g. by inducing alternative splicing of the pre-mRNA. The latter mechanism applies to the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy with a sugar-modified DNA analogue called tricyclo-DNA (tcDNA). In tcDNA the ribose sugar-moiety is extended to a three-membered ring system, which augments the binding affinity and the selectivity of the antisense oligonucleotide for its target.

The advent of chemically modified nucleic acids for antisense therapy presents a challenge to diagnostic tools, which must be able to cope with a variety of structural analogues. Mass spectrometry meets this demand for non-enzyme based sequencing methods ideally, because the technique is largely unaffected by structural modifications of the analyte. Sequence coverage of a fully modified tcDNA 15mer can be obtained in a single tandem mass spectrometric experiment.

Beyond sequencing experiments, tandem mass spectrometry was applied to elucidate the gas-phase structure and stability of tcDNA:DNA and tcDNA:RNA hybrid duplexes. Most remarkable is the formation of truncated duplexes upon collision-induced dissociation of these structures. Our data suggest that the cleavage site within the duplex is directed by the modified sugar-moiety. Moreover, the formation of truncated duplexes manifests the exceptional stability of the hybrid duplexes in the gas-phase. This stability arises from the modified sugar-moiety, which locks the tcDNA single strand into a conformation that is similar to RNA in A-form duplexes. The conformational particularity of tcDNA in the gas-phase was confirmed by ion mobility-mass spectrometry experiments on tcDNA, DNA, and RNA.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)


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

UniBE Contributor:

Hari, Yvonne Ilona, Schürch, Stefan, Leumann, Christian


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 540 Chemistry
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Stefan Schürch

Date Deposited:

02 Feb 2016 15:55

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:27



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