Topics in Current Chemistry

, 374:4 | Cite as

Cycloadditions for Studying Nucleic Acids

  • Stephanie Kath-Schorr
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Cycloadditions in Bioorthogonal Chemistry


Cycloaddition reactions for site-specific or global modification of nucleic acids have enabled the preparation of a plethora of previously inaccessible DNA and RNA constructs for structural and functional studies on naturally occurring nucleic acids, the assembly of nucleic acid nanostructures, therapeutic applications, and recently, the development of novel aptamers. In this chapter, recent progress in nucleic acid functionalization via a range of different cycloaddition (click) chemistries is presented. At first, cycloaddition/click chemistries already used for modifying nucleic acids are summarized, ranging from the well-established copper(I)-catalyzed alkyne–azide cycloaddition reaction to copper free methods, such as the strain-promoted azide–alkyne cycloaddition, tetrazole-based photoclick chemistry and the inverse electron demand Diels–Alder cycloaddition reaction between strained alkenes and tetrazine derivatives. The subsequent sections contain selected applications of nucleic acid functionalization via click chemistry; in particular, site-specific enzymatic labeling in vitro, either via DNA and RNA recognizing enzymes or by introducing unnatural base pairs modified for click reactions. Further sections report recent progress in metabolic labeling and fluorescent detection of DNA and RNA synthesis in vivo, click nucleic acid ligation, click chemistry in nanostructure assembly and click-SELEX as a novel method for the selection of aptamers.


Nucleic acid Cycloaddition Click chemistry CuAAC iEDDA Metabolic labeling 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LIMES Institute, Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry UnitUniversity of BonnBonnGermany

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