Nucleolipids: Natural Occurrence, Synthesis, Molecular Recognition, and Supramolecular Assemblies as Potential Precursors of Life and Bioorganic Materials


  • H. R. thanks the Francqui Foundation for a senior postdoctoral fellowship and Prof. Dr. Piet Herdewijn, Rega Institute, KU Leuven, for hosting a stay at the Department for Medicinale Chemie.


Nucleolipids are hybrid molecules composed of a nucleobase, a nucleoside, a nucleotide or an oligonucleotide (either DNA or RNA), and a lipophilic moiety, which might be either simply a single- or double-chained alkyl (or alkenyl) moiety or a carbocyclic hydrocarbon such as cholesterol, a vitamin, or a bile acid. This review covers all aspects of nucleolipids, namely their natural occurrence, their synthesis, their molecular recognition, as well as aggregation behavior, either in aqueous or non-aqueous solution. Potential future aspects of nucleolipids in material sciences and for the elucidation of biochemical reactions in living cells are discussed.