Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 26610449
Deoxyribozymes or DNAzymes are single-stranded catalytic DNA molecules that are obtained by combinatorial in vitro selection methods. Initially conceived to function as gene silencing agents, the scope of DNAzymes has rapidly expanded into diverse fields, including biosensing, diagnostics, logic gate operations, and the development of novel synthetic and biological tools. In this review, an overview of all the different chemical reactions catalyzed by DNAzymes is given with an emphasis on RNA cleavage and the use of non-nucleosidic substrates. The use of modified nucleoside triphosphates (dN*TPs) to expand the chemical space to be explored in selection experiments and ultimately to generate DNAzymes with an expanded chemical repertoire is also highlighted.