The authors evaluated the RNA binding of all eight possible stereoisomers of LNA. Synthesis of \"a-l-xylo-LNA\" has been accomplished and the remaining four stereoisomers, all enantiomers of the four synthesized diastereoisomers, are indirectly evaluated by hybridization studies. The remarkable binding affinities and specificities obtained for LNA and a-l-LNA, both in a fully and in a partly modified context, establish these mols. as unique nucleic acid mimics. A strong impetus for this research has been, and continues to be, the therapeutic promises of the antisense strategy. [on SciFinder (R)]