Direct and Selective Modification of RNA - An Open Challenge in Nucleic Acid Chemistry

Chimia (Aarau). 2018 Nov 30;72(11):777-781. doi: 10.2533/chimia.2018.777.


We present the state-of-the-art in direct RNA modification as well as the challenges that hold back further development of RNA mechanistic probes and medicines. Solid-phase synthesis has revolutionized the synthesis of short DNAs and RNAs. Many open questions in RNA biology are with large long-non-coding RNAs or mRNAs and there is also interest in developing these big RNAs as medicines. Techniques for direct modification will become more important in the coming years and we give a current snapshot of the field here, with a bias towards our own contributions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • RNA, Messenger / chemistry*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Solid-Phase Synthesis Techniques / methods*
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • RNA, Messenger