Tiny Wiki :
Fast loading, text only version of Wikipedia.
Locked Nucleic Acid
A locked nucleic acid (LNA), often referred to as inaccessible RNA, is a modified RNA nucleotide. The ribose moiety of an LNA nucleotide is modified with an extra bridge connecting the 2' oxygen and 4' carbon. The bridge "locks" the ribose in the 3'-endo (North) conformation, which is often found in the A-form of DNA or RNA. LNA nucleotides can be mixed with DNA or RNA bases in the oligonucleotide whenever desired. Such oligomers are commercially available. The locked ribose conformation enhances base stacking and backbone pre-organization. This significantly increases the thermal stability (melting temperature) of oligonucleotides.
LNA was independently invented by the laboratories of Jesper Wengel and Takeshi Imanishi in 1998.
LNA nucleotides are used to increases the sensitivity and specificity of expression in DNA microarrays, FISH probes, real-time PCR probes and other molecular biology techniques based on oligonucleotides. For the ''in situ'' detection of miRNA the use of LNA is currently (2005) the only efficient method. A triplet of LNA nucleotides surrounding a single-base mismatch site maximizes LNA probe specificity unless the probe contains the guanine base of G-T mismatch.
A new hepatitis C drug based on a LNA targeting a microRNA is in clinical testing as of late 2009.
Benefits of the LNA technology
Some of the benefits of using LNA include:
Ideal for the detection of short RNA and DNA targets
Increases the thermal stability of duplexes
Capable of single nucleotide discrimination
Resistant to exo- and endonucleases resulting in high stability in vivo and in vitro applications
Increased target specificity
Facilitates Tm normalization
Strand invasion properties enables detection of “hard to access” samples
Compatible with standard enzymatic processes