PNAs are synthetic analogues of DNA based upon an N-(2-aminoethyl)glycine pseudopeptide backbone. The bases (corresponding to A,G,C,T) are attached to the backbone via a methylene carbonyl linker and the resulting PNA oligomers are able to form very stable complexes with complementary DNA and RNA. They also have the great advantage of being resistant to nucleases (and proteases) which makes them potentially ideal reagents for antisense and antigene applications. Labelled PNAs also have applications in molecular diagnostics and as probes in microarrays.
Conjugation of PNA to Peptides
Although PNAs work well in cell free systems, poor cellular uptake can limit their use in the regulation of gene expression in cell culture and in vivo. The conjugation of PNA to peptides, to lipophilic molecules and to cell-specific receptor ligands offers new ways to surmount this problem. CRB are ideally placed to advise on and supply such conjugates.