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Nucleic Acids

  1. Olaf Heidenreich1,
  2. Georg Sczakiel2

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/3527600906.mcb.200400041

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

How to Cite

Heidenreich, O. and Sczakiel, G. 2006. Oligonucleotides. Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Tübingen, Department of Molecular Biology, Institute for Cell Biology, Tübingen, Germany

  2. 2

    University of Lübeck, Institute for Molecular Medicine, Lübeck, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


Oligonucleotides are important tools in biochemistry and in molecular and cellular biology. Moreover, oligonucleotides such as antisense oligonucleotides or small interfering RNAs hold promise as therapeutic agents to combat human disease. The main prerequisite for the wide use of oligonucleotides was the development of efficient and robust synthesis protocols, which allow for the production of oligonucleotides at a wide range of synthesis scales with very affordable costs. Furthermore, the chemical synthesis permits the site-specific introduction of chemical modifications such as phosphate, sugar or base derivatives, which affect the chemical and biological properties of oligonucleotides. Oligonucleotides are used in molecular biology for sequence detection and determination as well as in cell biology and molecular medicine for functional genomics, target validation, and drug development. This review describes recent advancements of oligonucleotide synthesis and discusses several common applications of oligonucleotides.


  • Melting Temperature;
  • Oligodeoxynucleotide;
  • Oligoribonucleotide;
  • Phosphoamidite;
  • Phosphodiester Linkage;
  • Protection group