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L-DNA: Applications and the Recognition of Mirror-Image Nucleic Acids

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"L-DNA: Applications and the Recognition of Mirror-Image Nucleic Acids"

DNA is a chiral molecule, and consequently, has non-superimposable mirror images (enantiomers). Native DNA found in all living organisms consists exclusively of D-deoxyribose sugars (D-DNA) and forms right-handed helices.

Its enantiomer, L-DNA, consists of L-deoxyribose sugars and forms left-handed helices. L-DNA is not found in nature but can be prepared synthetically in the laboratory, with the earliest syntheses of L-oligonucleotides dating back to the 1970s. As enantiomers, D-DNA and L-DNA are physically indistinguishable, except for their opposed optical activity, making them identical from a design perspective (i.e. same hybridization rates, duplex thermal stability, etc.).

This application note from Glen Research discusses uses for L-DNA, mirror-image DNA that is orthogonal to the stereospecific environment of native biology and provides an opportunity to develop nucleic acid-based technologies with capabilities not possible by using only the native stereoisomer.

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