UNIT 2.16 Recent Advances in the Chemical Synthesis of RNA

  1. Serge L. Beaucage1,
  2. Colin B. Reese2

Published Online: 1 SEP 2009

DOI: 10.1002/0471142700.nc0216s38

Current Protocols in Nucleic Acid Chemistry

Current Protocols in Nucleic Acid Chemistry

How to Cite

Beaucage, S. L. and Reese, C. B. 2009. Recent Advances in the Chemical Synthesis of RNA. Current Protocols in Nucleic Acid Chemistry. 38:2.16:2.16.1–2.16.31.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Food and Drug Administration, Bethesda, Maryland

  2. 2

    King's College London, London, United Kingdom

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 SEP 2009
  2. Published Print: SEP 2009


As a consequence largely of recent developments in RNA interference (RNAi) research, the availability of rapid and efficient methods for the chemical synthesis of RNA sequences has become a matter of considerable urgency. This unit is concerned mainly with work that has been carried out, especially in the past decade, on the design of new and improved methods of RNA synthesis. The main criteria for the choice of protecting groups for the 2′-hydroxy functions of the ribonucleoside building blocks, which is arguably the most crucial strategic decision to be made, are discussed. A number of new ether-, acetal-, orthoester-, and ester-based 2′-protecting groups are described and their application, mainly in phosphoramidite-based solid-phase synthesis, is discussed in some detail. Brief consideration is also given to solution-phase RNA synthesis, which may well prove to be of great importance if a systemic drug is developed and multikilogram quantities of synthetic RNA sequences are required. Curr. Protoc. Nucleic Acid Chem. 38:2.16.1-2.16.31. © 2009 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • 2′-hydroxyl protecting groups;
  • ether protecting groups;
  • acetal protecting groups;
  • ester protecting groups;
  • ribonucleoside phosphoramidites;
  • phosphitylation;
  • solid-phase synthesis;
  • solution-phase synthesis