The growing field of DNA technology requires new modified DNAs that can perform advanced functions. No matter how we optimize the length and sequence of DNA using only the four naturally occurring nucleotides, potential performance is limited. In this review, we describe a facile and effective method of rationally designing new functional DNA by focusing on acyclic scaffolds, especially threoninols, which are utilized to incorporate functional molecules into DNA. Wedge-type insertion of a functional molecule with a planar structure of proper size in D-threoninol to DNA does not destabilize the duplex, although the backbone structure is changed. Rather, intercalation offsets such distortions and significantly raises the melting temperature of the DNA duplex. Based on the wedge-type insertion, photoresponsive DNA (tethering azobenzenes) and fluorescent probes that can detect single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and insertion/ deletion (indel) polymorphisms have been designed. Furthermore, a variety of molecular clusters of dyes have also been prepared from acyclic scaffolds tethering dyes.
Keywords: Rational Design, Acyclic Scaffold, Functional DNA, DNA technology, Natural Nucleosides