Determination of mutated genes in the presence of wild-type DNA by using molecular beacons as probe
Abstract Low-abundance mutations in the presence of wild-type DNA can be determined using molecular beacon (MB) as probe. A MB is generally used as DNA probe because it can distinguish single-base mismatched target DNA from fully matched target DNA. However, the probe can not determine low-abundance mutations in the presence of wild-type DNA. In this study, this limitation is addressed by enhancing the stability of unpaired base-containing dsDNA with a hydrogen-bonding ligand, which was added after hybridization of the MB to the target DNA. The ligand formed hydrogen bonds with unpaired bases and stabilized the unpaired base-containing dsDNA if target DNA is mutated one. As a result, more MBs were opened by the mutant genes in the presence of the ligand and a further increase in the fluorescence intensity was obtained. By contrast, fluorescence intensity did not change if target DNA is wild-type one. Consequent increase in the fluorescence intensity of the MB was regarded as a signal derived from mutant genes. The proposed method was applied in synthetic template systems to determine point mutation in DNA obtained from PCR analysis. The method also allows rapid and simple discrimination of a signal if it is originated in the presence of mutant gene or alternatively by a lower concentration of wild gene. Highlights Mutated genes determined in the presence of wild-type DNA using molecular beacons as probe. Enhancement in the stability of unpaired base-containing dsDNA by a hydrogen-bonding ligand achieved. Consequent increase in the fluorescence of the MB regarded as a signal of mutant genes. Graphical Abstract [DISPLAY OMISSION]
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