Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry (PhD)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Chemistry


Shiyue Fang


Oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) containing latent electrophilic groups can be highly useful in antisense drug development and many other applications such as chemical biology and medicine, where covalent cross-linking of ODNs with mRNA, protein and ODN is required. However, such ODN analogues cannot be synthesized using traditional technologies due to the strongly nucleophilic conditions used in traditional deprotection/cleavage process.

To solve this long lasting and highly challenging problem in nucleic acid chemistry, I used the 1,3-dithian-2-yl-methoxycarbonyl (Dmoc) function to protect the exo-amino groups on the nucleobases dA, dC and dG, and to design the linker between the nascent ODN and solid support. These protecting groups and linker are completely stable under all ODN synthesis conditions, but can be readily cleaved under non-nucleophilic and nearly neutral conditions. As a result, the new ODN synthesis technology is universally useful for the synthesis of electrophilic ODNs.

The dissertation is mainly comprised of two portions. In the first portion, the development of the Dmoc-based linker for ODN synthesis will be described. The construction of the dT-Dmoc-linker required a total of seven steps to synthesize. The linker was then anchored to the solid support―controlled pore glass (CPG). In the second portion, the syntheses of Dmoc-protected phosphoramidites ODN synthesis monomers including Dmoc-dC-amidite, Dmoc-dA-amidite, Dmoc-dG-amidite are described. The protection of dC and dA with 1,3-dithian-2-yl-methyl 4-nitrophenyl carbonate proceeded smoothly giving Dmoc-dC and Dmoc-dA in good yields. However, when the same acylation procedure was applied for the synthesis of Dmoc-dG, very low yield was obtained. This problem was later solved using a highly innovative and environmentally benign procedure, which is expected to be widely useful for the acylation of the exo-amino groups on nucleoside bases. The reactions to convert the Dmoc-protected nucleosides to phosphoramidite monomers proceeded smoothly with high yields. Using the Dmoc phosphoramidite monomers dA, dC, dG and the commercially available dT, and the Dmoc linker, four ODN sequences were synthesized. In all cases, excellent coupling yields were obtained. ODN deprotection/cleavage was achieved by using non-nucleophilic oxidative conditions. The new technology is predicted to be universally useful for the synthesis of ODNs containing one or more electrophilic functionalities.