In 1991, Nielsen, Egholm, Berg, and Buchardt reported the synthesis of peptide nucleic acids (PNA*), a new, completely artificial DNA/RNA analog in which the backbone is a pseudopeptide (polyamide) rather than a sugar (phosphate ribose). 
Despite a radical structural change, PNA is capable of sequence-specific binding in a helix form to its complementary DNA or RNA sequence. Due to its superior binding affinity and chemical/biological stability, PNA has been widely applied in the field of biology.


What is PNA (Peptide Nucleic Acid)?


Structure of PNA (Peptide Nucleic Acid)

Figure 1. Structural comparison between DNA and PNA


Characteristics of PNA

Binding properties of PNA with DNA or RNA

Table 1. The Tm value of PNA/DNA or PNA/RNA

6-mer PNA T/DNA A
31 °C
6-mer DNA T/DNA A
< 10 °C
10-mer PNA T/DNA A
73 °C
10-mer DNA T/DNA A
23 °C
15-mer mixed PNA/DNA
69 °C
15-mer mixed DNA/DNA
54 °C
15-mer mixed PNA/RNA
72 °C
15-mer mixed DNA/RNA
50 °C


Figure 2. Binding of PNA with Duplex DNA

Advantage of PNA with the stronger binding property

PNA Hybridization and salt concentration

Figure 3. Stability of PNA and DNA duplex at different salt concentration

Biological and chemical stability of PNA


PNA applications

PNAs can be used in the same applications than traditional synthetic DNA or RNA, but with the added benefits of tighter binding and greater specificity.

PNA probe for diagnosis and detection

Binding properties of PNA give more specific, more sensitive, and more accurate result for the detection of target sequences. Almost commercialized PNA products are probes to detect genetic disease and or to detect viral or bacterial infection.

Oligonucleotides for antisense and antigene therapy

The stronger binding properties and biologicla stability of PNA implies that a small quantity of PNA can be effective. Triplex invasion of PNA shows a good potential as antigene material. As a third generation of antisense therapy, there have been many experimental data that shows good effect in vitro and in vivo.

Tools for molecular biology and functional genomics

PNA is used as tools of molecular biology abd functional genomics research.


How to use PNA oligonucleotides


Competitive features of Eurogentec PNA

All custom PNA oligomers sold by Eurogentec are manufactured by Panagene under an exclusive license and to be used for internal research only. And such custom PNA oligomers are not to be resold unless properly licensed to do so by separate license. All custom PNA oligomers are made and sold pursuant to license under one or more of US Patents Nos. US 5,773,571, US 6,133,444, US 6,172,226, US 6,395,474, US 6,414,112, US 6,613,873, US 6,710,163 and US 6,713,602 or corresponding patent claims outside the US.


More information on PNA Telomere or Centromere FISH probes.

More info

* The PNA bases are only available in the following countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland, United Kingdom, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Austria, Finland, Sweden, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania, Norway, Iceland, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Turkey, Switzerland, Israel, Russia and African countries.


PNA Bases

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