5 years ago

Peptide nucleic acids: Advanced tools for biomedical applications

Peptide Nucleic Acids (PNAs) are the DNA/RNA analogues in which sugar-phosphate backbone is replaced by N-2-aminoethylglycine repeating units. PNA contains neutral backbone hence due to the absence of electrostatic repulsion, its hybridization shows remarkable stability towards complementary oligonucleotides. PNAs are highly resistant to cleavage by chemicals and enzymes due to the substrate specific nature of enzymes and therefore not degraded inside the cells. PNAs are emerging as new tools in the market due to their applications in antisense and antigene therapies by inhibiting translation and transcription respectively. Hence, several methods based on PNAs have been developed for designing various anticancer and antigene drugs, detection of mutations or modulation of PCR reactions. The duplex homopurine sequence of DNA may also be recognized by PNA, forming firm PNA/DNA/PNA triplex through strand invasion with a looped-out DNA strand. PNAs have also been found to replace DNA probes in varied investigative purposes. There are several disadvantages regarding cellular uptake of PNA, so modifications in PNA backbone or covalent coupling with cell penetrating peptides is necessary to improve its delivery inside the cells. In this review, hybridization properties along with potential applications of PNA in the field of diagnostics and pharmaceuticals are elaborated.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0168165617315511

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