Peptide nucleic acids (PNAs) are DNA analogs containing neutral amide backbone linkages. PNAs are stable to degradation by enzymes and hybridize to complementary sequences with higher affinity than analogous DNA oligomers. PNA synthesis employs protocols derived from solid-phase peptide synthesis, making the methodology straightforward and flexible. PNAs are being incorporated into an expanding set of applications, including genome mapping, the identification of mutations and measurement of telomere length. The growth in the popularity of PNAs as a tool for nucleic acid recognition should accelerate as the properties of PNAs become more familiar.
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