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First developed in the Shaw lab in 1990, boranophosphates have great potential as therapeutic and diagnostic agents, as the modification confers many unique properties.[1] The boranophosphate resembles the normal phosphate in that the negative charge is retained; however, the polarity of the molecule changes because the negative charge is localized on the remaining non-bridging oxygen.[2] Partitioning experiments have demonstrated that boranophosphates are more lipophilic than normal phosphates;[3] this could allow for increased cellular uptake and targeted delivery. In addition, boranophosphates have increased nuclease resistance without affecting activation of RNase H cleavage of RNA in RNA: boranophosphate hybrids.[3]


  1. ^ Sood 1990
  2. ^ He 1998
  3. ^ a b Shaw 2000