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The tricyclic cytosine, tC, is a fluorescent base analogue with excellent properties for investigating intrinsic characteristics of nucleic acid as well as interactions between nucleic acids and other molecules. Its unique fluorescence properties and insignificant influence on overall structure and dynamics of nucleic acid after incorporation makes tC particularly interesting in fluorescence resonance energy transfer and anisotropy measurements. We here describe a straightforward synthesis of the standard monomer form of tC for DNA solid-phase synthesis, the tC phosphoramidite, and its subsequent incorporation into oligonucleotides. The total synthesis of the tC phosphoramidite takes approximately 8 days and its incorporation and the subsequent oligonucleotide purification an additional day.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Protoc

Publication Date





615 - 623


Cytosine, Fluorescent Dyes, Molecular Structure, Nucleic Acid Probes, Oligonucleotides, Organophosphorus Compounds