Oligonucleotide Synthesis

Oligonucleotides are short chains of base pairs that are used for a variety of applications in research, genetic testing and forensics.

These oligonucleotides are synthesized to hybridize to specific DNA or RNA sequences in processes such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR), DNA sequencing, library construction and artificial gene synthesis.

Oligonucleotides are built using protected phosphoramidites of natural or chemically modified nucleosides. Non-nucleosidic compounds are also used, but to a lesser extent.

A biochemist at the University of Wisconsin called Professor H. Gobind Khorana was a key figure in the elucidation of the genetic code. Khorana helped establish how phosphate linkages in DNA are formed through enzymatic catalysis in a reversible reaction. Specifically, a deoxynucleotide triphosphate is added to an expanding deoxynucleotide monophosphate polymer through the actions of polymerase in the presence of magnesium. This forward reaction adds one base to the polymer at a time. Khorana used this knowledge to start synthesizing polypeptides in the laboratory.

The assembly of an oligonucleotide chain occurs in the 3’- to 5’-terminus through the “synthetic cycle” process. Each of these cycles results in the addition of one nucleotide residue to the chain. The cycles are repeated until the required number of nucleotides is achieved. However, the process is limited by an incomplete yield of each synthetic step and side reactions that occur. The maximum length of these oligonucleotides therefore does not exceed 200 nucleotide residues.

Further Reading

Last Updated: Feb 26, 2019

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.

Citations

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Mandal, Ananya. (2019, February 26). Oligonucleotide Synthesis. News-Medical. Retrieved on December 05, 2019 from https://www.news-medical.net/life-sciences/Oligonucleotide-Synthesis.aspx.

  • MLA

    Mandal, Ananya. "Oligonucleotide Synthesis". News-Medical. 05 December 2019. <https://www.news-medical.net/life-sciences/Oligonucleotide-Synthesis.aspx>.

  • Chicago

    Mandal, Ananya. "Oligonucleotide Synthesis". News-Medical. https://www.news-medical.net/life-sciences/Oligonucleotide-Synthesis.aspx. (accessed December 05, 2019).

  • Harvard

    Mandal, Ananya. 2019. Oligonucleotide Synthesis. News-Medical, viewed 05 December 2019, https://www.news-medical.net/life-sciences/Oligonucleotide-Synthesis.aspx.

Comments

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News-Medical.Net.
Post a new comment
Post
You might also like... ×
IDT launches high quality, ready-to-use custom oligo pools