- Optimizing oligonucleotides as therapeutics will require exploring how chemistry can be used to enhance their effects inside cells. To achieve this goal it will be necessary to fully explore chemical space around the native DNA/RNA framework to define the potential of diverse chemical modifications. In this report we examine the potential of thiophosphonoacetate (thioPACE)-modified 2'-O-methyl oligoribonucleotides as inhibitors of human huntingtin (HTT) expression. Inhibition occurred, but was less than with analogous locked nucleic acid (LNA)-substituted oligomers lacking the thioPACE modification. These data suggest that thioPACE oligonucleotides have the potential to control gene expression inside cells. However, advantages relative to other modifications were not demonstrated. Additional modifications are likely to be necessary to fully explore any potential advantages of thioPACE substitutions.