Automated chemical synthesis of oligonucleotides is of fundamental importance for the production of primers for the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), for oligonucleotide-based drugs, and for numerous other medical and biotechnological applications. The highly optimised automised chemical oligonucleotide synthesis relies upon phosphoramidites as the phosphate precursors and one of the drawbacks of this technology is the poor bench stability of phosphoramidites.
Fig: a Binding of P(III)-species to the resin followed by transfer to a desired alcohol followed by, b direct submission to solid-phase oligonucleotide synthesis. PG protecting group.
Here, we report on the development of an on-demand flow synthesis of phosphoramidites from their corresponding alcohols, which is accomplished with short reaction times, near-quantitative yields and without the need of purification before being submitted directly to automated oligonucleotide synthesis. Sterically hindered as well as redox unstable phosphoramidites are synthesised using this methodology and the subsequent couplings are near-quantitative for all substrates. The vision for this technology is direct integration into DNA synthesisers thereby omitting manual synthesis and storage of phosphoramidites.
Sandahl, A.F., Nguyen, T.J.D., Hansen, R.A. et al. On-demand synthesis of phosphoramidites. Nat Commun 12, 2760 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22945-z