Heterochiral Nucleic Acid Circuits. Academic Article uri icon


  • The programmability of DNA/RNA-based molecular circuits provides numerous opportunities in the field of synthetic biology. However, the stability of nucleic acids remains a major concern when performing complex computations in biological environments. Our solution to this problem is L-(deoxy)ribose nucleic acids (L-DNA/RNA), which are mirror images (i.e. enantiomers) of natural D-nucleotides. L-oligonucleotides have the same physical and chemical properties as their natural counterparts, yet they are completely invisible to the stereospecific environment of biology. We recently reported a novel strand-displacement methodology for transferring sequence information between oligonucleotide enantiomers (which are incapable of base pairing with each other), enabling bio-orthogonal L-DNA/RNA circuits to be easily interfaced with living systems. In this perspective, we summarize these so-called "heterochiral" circuits, provide a viewpoint on their potential applications in synthetic biology, and discuss key problems that must be solved before achieving the ultimate goal of engineering complex and reliable functionality.

published proceedings

  • Emerg Top Life Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Kabza, A. M., Young, B. E., Kundu, N., & Sczepanski, J. T.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Kabza, Adam M||Young, Brian E||Kundu, Nandini||Sczepanski, Jonathan T

editor list (cited editors)

  • Bayley, H.

publication date

  • November 2019