Engineering Enzyme-Cleavable Oligonucleotides by Automated Solid-Phase Incorporation of Cathepsin B Sensitive Dipeptide Linkers.
Brown T., Jin C., Sagheer AHE., Li S., Vallis KA., Tan W.
Oligonucleotides containing cleavable linkers have emerged as versatile tools to achieve stimulus-responsive and site-specific cleavage of DNA. However, the limitations of previously reported cleavable linkers including photolabile and disulfide linkers have restricted their applications in vivo . Inspired by the cathepsin B-sensitive dipeptide linkers in antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) such as Adcetris, we have developed Val-Ala-02 and Val-Ala-Chalcone phosphoramidites for the automated synthesis of enzyme-cleavable oligonucleotides. Cathepsin B digests Val-Ala-02 and Val-Ala-Chalcone linkers efficiently, enabling cleavage of oligonucleotides into two components or release of small-molecule payloads. Based on the prior success of dipeptide linkers in ADCs, we believe that these dipeptide linker phosphoramidites will promote new clinical applications of therapeutic oligonucleotides.