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Molecular Properties and Medical Applications of Peptide Nucleic Acids

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Peptide Nucleic Acids (PNAs) are molecules combining structural features of proteins and nucleic acid. They resemble DNA or RNA by forming helical polyamides containing nitrogen bases attached to the backbone consisting of N-(2-aminoethyl)-glycine monomers, which mimics the alternating ribose-phosphodiester-backbone of a nucleic acid. Because PNAs bind exceptionally strong to complementary DNA or RNA sequences obeying Watson-Crick base paring, they became attractive candidates for antisense and antigen therapies. PNAs are also being tested as novel antibiotics, gene-activating agents, and as molecular probes for FISH and imaging or biosensors used in diagnostics. Although PNAs offer many exiting medical applications, improving their cellular uptake and developing specific delivery strategies is crucial for a successful entry in the clinic in the near future.
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Keywords: Antagomir; Antigene; Antisense; Cellular Delivery; Medical Applications; PNA; Peptide Nucleic Acid

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2014

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  • The aim of Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry is to publish short reviews on the important recent developments in medicinal chemistry and allied disciplines.

    The scope of Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry will cover all areas of medicinal chemistry including developments in rational drug design, synthetic chemistry, bioorganic chemistry, high-throughput screening, combinatorial chemistry, drug targets, and natural product research and structure-activity relationship studies.

    Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal and pharmaceutical chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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