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ZNA® (Figure 1) stands for Zip Nucleic Acid, which consist in oligonucleotides conjugated with cationic spermine units. This asset decreases the electrostatic repulsion between single strand nucleic acids (i.e. between primer/probe and target DNA during annealing). As a result, ZNA® primers and probes have higher affinity to their targets, compared to unmodified oligonucleotides. Moreover, the global charge of a ZNA® oligonucleotide-oligocation can be modulated by specifying the number of cationic spermine moieties attached to the nucleic acid oligomer. The Tm of ZNAs® increases linearly with the length of the oligocation. Therefore, it is possible to easily predict the melting temperature (Tm) of ZNA®-DNA or ZNA®-RNA hybrids.

Figure 1. Structure of one single 5'-ZNA (R = sequence).

metabion offers ZNA® modifications in its DNA portfolio: