Reverse DNA oligonucleotide synthesis (i.e. from 5′→3′) is a strategy that has yet to be exploited fully. While utilized previously for the construction of alternating 3′-3′- and 5′-5′-linked antisense oligonucleotides, the use of nucleoside 5′-phosphoramidites has not generally been used for the elaboration of (modified) oligonucleotides. Presently, the potential of reverse oligonucleotide synthesis for the facile synthesis of 3′-modified DNAs is illustrated using a phosphoramidite derived from tyrosine. The derived oligonucleotide was shown to have chromatographic and electrophoretic properties identical with the modified oligonucleotide resulting from the proteinase K digestion of the vaccinia topoisomerase I-DNA covalent complex. The results confirm the nature of the structure previously assigned to this product, and establish the facility with which proteinase K is able to complete the digestion of the polypeptide backbone of the DNA oligonucleotide-linked topoisomerase I.
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