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Review Article

Modified Nucleotides for Chemical and Enzymatic Synthesis of Therapeutic RNA

[ Vol. 30 , Issue. 11 ]


Anna Graczyk, Ewa Radzikowska-Cieciura, Renata Kaczmarek, Roza Pawlowska and Arkadiusz Chworos*   Pages 1320 - 1347 ( 28 )


In recent years, RNA has emerged as a medium with a broad spectrum of therapeutic potential, however, for years, a group of short RNA fragments was studied and considered therapeutic molecules. In nature, RNA plays both functions, with coding and non-coding potential. For RNA, like any other therapeutic, to be used clinically, certain barriers must be crossed. Among them, there are biocompatibility, relatively low toxicity, bioavailability, increased stability, target efficiency and low off-target effects. In the case of RNA, most of these obstacles can be overcome by incorporating modified nucleotides into its structure. This may be achieved by both, in vitro and in vivo biosynthetic methods, as well as chemical synthesis. Some advantages and disadvantages of each approach are summarized here. The wide range of nucleotide analogues has been tested for their utility as monomers for RNA synthesis. Many of them have been successfully implemented, and a lot of pre-clinical and clinical studies involving modified RNA have been carried out. Some of these medications have already been introduced into clinics. After the huge success of RNA-based vaccines that were introduced into widespread use in 2020, and the introduction to the market of some RNA-based drugs, RNA therapeutics containing modified nucleotides appear to be the future of medicine.


Synthetic RNA, modified nucleotides, RNA chemical synthesis, therapeutic RNA, in vitro RNA synthesis, enzymatic synthesis.


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