Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Phosphorothioation of DNA in bacteria

A phosphorothioate modification of DNA has been identified in bacteria. This first observed alteration of the DNA phosphate backbone opens many questions about the mechanism of sulfur incorporation and the function of this modification.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Phosphorothioate structure and exchange mechanism.


  1. Wang, L. et al. Nat. Chem. Biol. 3, 709–710 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Zhou, X. et al. Mol. Microbiol. 57, 1428–1438 (2005).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Eckstein, F. Annu. Rev. Biochem. 54, 367–402 (1985).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Stec, W.J., Zon, G. & Stec, B. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 106, 6077–6089 (1984).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Verma, S. & Eckstein, F. Annu. Rev. Biochem. 67, 99–134 (1998).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Yang, Z., Sismour, A.M. & Benner, S.A. Nucleic Acids Res. 35, 3118–3127 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Dyson, P. & Evans, M.C. Nucleic Acids Res. 26, 1248–1253 (1998).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Boybek, A., Ray, T.D., Evans, M.C. & Dyson, P.J. Nucleic Acids Res. 26, 3364–3371 (1998).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Liang, J. et al. Nucleic Acids Res. 35, 2944–2954 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Gish, G. & Eckstein, F. Science 240, 1520–1522 (1988).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Eckstein, F. Phosphorothioation of DNA in bacteria. Nat Chem Biol 3, 689–690 (2007).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing