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DNA-Templated Functional Group Transformations Enable Sequence-Programmed Synthesis Using Small-Molecule Reagents

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journal contribution
posted on 16.02.2005, 00:00 by Kaori Sakurai, Thomas M. Snyder, David R. Liu
DNA-templated organic synthesis (DTS) has previously been used primarily to direct coupling reactions between two DNA-linked reactants. In some cases, reactants are difficult or impossible to tether to DNA oligonucleotides. The development of strategies that enable non-DNA linked small-molecule reagents to participate in sequence-programmed synthesis therefore would significantly expand the capabilities of DTS. We developed efficient DNA-templated functional group transformations of template-linked azides into corresponding amines, carboxylic acids, and thiols. The application of these reactions to a single-solution mixture of four template-linked organic azides enabled each azide to be transformed sequence specifically into a sulfonamide, carbamate, urea, or thiourea using small-molecule sulfonyl chloride, chloroformate, isocyanate, or isothiocyanate reagents not tethered to DNA. Only the four desired products were observed, without formation of any of the 12 possible undesired cross-products. Our results represent a new approach to small molecule diversification in a DNA-programmed manner.