Ph.D.: Northwestern University, 1968
Awards: Imback-Townsend Award from the International Society of Nucleic Acid Research, 2006Promega Biotechnology Research Award, 2006National Academy of Sciences Award for Chemistry in Service to Society, 2005Prelog Medal in Recognition of Pioneering Work on the Chemical Synthesis of DNA, ETH, Zurich Switzerland, 2004National Medal of Science, 2006Member, National Academy of Sciences, 1994Member, American Academy of Arts & Sciences, 1994Elliott Cresson Medal of the Franklin Institute, 1994Biotechnology National Ventures Award, 1992Guggenheim Fellow, 1981USPHS Career Development Award, 1975-1980
Nucleic Acid Chemistry and Biochemistry
Professor Caruthers' interests include nucleic acid chemistry and biochemistry. The laboratory uses modern concepts in nucleic acid chemistry, biochemistry, and molecular biology to study regulation and control of gene expression.
Approximately 20 years ago, the methodologies that are currently used for chemically synthesizing DNA were developed in this laboratory. These procedures have been incorporated into so-called "gene machines" for the purpose of synthesizing DNA that is used by biochemists, biologists, molecular biologists and biophysical chemists for various research applications. More recently our research has pioneered the development of a new two step DNA synthesis approach which will be extremely useful for preparing DNA chips and large amounts of DNA. We have additionally developed new methods for the synthesis of RNA.
The group's interests have also focused on first the synthesis of new DNA analogs and then on a systematic analysis of how these polynucleotides can be used for various research applications. Recent analogs, which have been synthesized and tested in biochemical systems, include phosphonacetate and phosphonoformate DNA, borane phosphonate DNA and 2’-O-methyl RNA, metallophosphonate DNA, methylphosphonium borane DNA, and cationic phosphate triester containing DNAs. Because of these unique biochemical and biophysical properties, they should prove useful for a large number of basic and applied research applications.
M.H. Caruthers. "Studies on Gene Control Regions. XI. Deciphering the Protein-DNA Recognition Code." Acc. Chem. Res. 13, 155 (1980).
M.D. Matteucci and M.H. Caruthers. "Studies on Nucleotide Chemistry IV. Synthesis of Deoxyoligonucleotides on a Polymer Support." J. Amer. Chem. Soc. 103, 3185 (1981).
S.L. Beaucage and M.H. Caruthers. "Studies on Nucleotide Chemistry V. Deoxynucleoside Phosphoramidites - A New Class of Key Intermediates for Deoxypolynucleotide Synthesis." Tetrahedron Lett. 22, 1859 (1981).
M.H. Caruthers. "Gene Synthesis Machines: The DNA Chemistry and Its Uses." Science 230, 281 (1985).
J.W. Dubendorff, P.L. deHaseth, M.S. Rosendahl and M.H. Caruthers. "Studies on Gene Control Regions XXII. DNA Functional Groups Required for Formation of Open Complexes between Escherichia coli RNA Polymerase and the lPR Promoter: Identification via Base Analog Substitution." J. Biol. Chem. 262, 892 (1987).
W.K.-D. Brill, J.Nielsen and M.H. Caruthers. "Studies on Nucleotide Chemistry XXXIII. Synthesis of Dinucleoside Phosphorodithioates." J. Am. Chem. Soc. 113, 3972 (1991).
S. A. Scaringe, F. E. Wincott and M. H. Caruthers. "Novel RNA Synthesis Method Using 5'-O-Silyl-2'-O-orthoester Protecting Groups." J. Am. Chem. Soc. 120, 11820 (1998).
D. J. Dellinger, D. M. Sheehan, N. Christensen, J. G. Lindberg and M. H. Caruthers. "Solid Phase Chemical Synthesis of Phosphonoacetate and Thiophosphonoacetate Oligodeoxynucleotides." J. Am. Chem. Soc. 125, 940-950 (2003).
Agnieszka B. Sierzchala, Douglas J. Dellinger, Jason R. Betley, Tadeusz K. Wyrzykiewicz, and Marvin H. Caruthers. "Solid Phase Oligodeoxynucleotide Synthesis: A Two-Step Cycle Using Peroxy Anion Deprotection." J. Am. Chem. Soc. 125, 13427-13441 (2003).
H. B. McCuen, M. S. Noé, A. B. Sierzchala, A. P. Higson, and M. H. Caruthers. “Synthesis of Mixed Sequence Borane Phosphonate DNA.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 128, 8138-8139 (2006)
E. M. LeProust, B. J. Peck, K. Spirin, H. Brummel McCuen, B. Moore, E. Namsaraev and M. H. Caruthers. “Synthesis of High-Quality Libraries of Long (150 mer) Oligonucleotides by a Novel Depurination Controlled Process.” Nucleic Acids Res. 38, 2522-2540 (2010)