Structure-Selective Catalytic Alkylation of DNA and RNA


  • This work was supported by start-up funds from the University of Basel. Karl Gademann and Florian Seebeck are gratefully acknowledged for valuable discussions. Raphael Wyss is thanked for his help in interpreting some of the NMR spectra.


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Nuc 'em: A variety of nucleic acids can be catalytically alkylated with rhodium-carbenoids generated from diazo compounds in aqueous buffer through an N[BOND]H insertion process (see scheme; MES=2-(N-morpholino)ethanesulfonic acid). The method specifically targets unpaired bases such as those present in single strands, turn regions, and overhangs while leaving double-stranded sequences untouched.