Evaluating TNA stability under simulated physiological conditions

Michelle C. Culbertson, Kartik W. Temburnikar, Sujay P. Sau, Jen Yu Liao, Saikat Bala, John C. Chaput

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Chemically modified oligonucleotides are routinely used as diagnostic and therapeutic agents due to their enhanced biological stability relative to natural DNA and RNA. Here, we examine the biological stability of α-l-threofuranosyl nucleic acid (TNA), an artificial genetic polymer composed of repeating units of α-l-threofuranosyl sugars linked by 2′,3′-phosphodiester bonds. We show that TNA remains undigested after 7 days of incubation in the presence of either 50% human serum or human liver microsomes and is stable against snake venom phosphordiesterase (a highly active 3′ exonuclease). We further show that TNA will protect internal DNA residues from nuclease digestion and shield complementary RNA strands from RNA degrading enzymes. Together, these results demonstrate that TNA is an RNA analogue with high biological stability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2418-2421
Number of pages4
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Biological stability
  • RNA analogue
  • Threose nucleic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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