Nucleic acids

Nucleic acids (DNA or RNA) are polymers of nucleotides – each nucleotide consists of a pentose sugar, a phosphate group and one of the nitrogenous bases (purines and pyrimidines). Nucleic acids function in encoding, transmitting and expressing genetic information in either the double-stranded form (mostly for DNA) or in single-stranded form (mostly for RNA).

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News & Views |

    Transposon-associated transposase B (TnpB) is the putative ancestor of Cas nucleases. A TnpB-based adenine base editor has now been developed that is small enough to be loaded into a single AAV vector without compromising editing activity.

    • Beomjong Song
    •  & Sangsu Bae
  • News & Views |

    Amino-containing four-carbon threose nucleic acids (TNAs) have long been considered to be prebiotically irrelevant due to their difficult formation. Now, a prebiotically plausible route to 3′-amino-TNA nucleoside triphosphate has been developed, raising the possibility of 3′-amino-TNA as a non-canonical nucleic acid during the origin of life.

    • Yingyu Liu
    •  & Yajun Wang
    Nature Chemistry 14, 725-727
  • News & Views |

    A fungal ten-eleven translocation (TET) dioxygenase homolog, CcTet, is found to have both 5-methylcytosine (5mC) and N6-methyladenine (6mA) demethylase activity. Structure-based engineering of CcTet yielded a 6mA-specific demethylase, offering a useful tool for the manipulation and functional study of 6mA.

    • Sisi Li
    •  & Jiamu Du
  • Editorial |

    Lipid nanoparticles are going into billions of arms in the form of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, delivering, at last, on the promise of nanotechnology to revolutionize drug delivery. Revolutions have the ability to alter the course of history. In the case of nanotech-based drug delivery, with many promising applications being explored, it looks like lipid nanoparticles have done just that.

  • News & Views |

    The therapeutic applications of DNAzymes are limited because of their low effectiveness in vivo. Now, a promising approach for constructing DNAzymes that show high gene-silencing efficiency in mammalian cells has been developed. This approach incorporates chemical modifications into an existing DNAzyme scaffold.

    • Yifei Zhou
    •  & Chuanzheng Zhou
    Nature Chemistry 13, 299-301