Single nucleotide substitutions, molecular beacons, hybridization probes, real time pcr
Detection of single nucleotide substitutions (SNS) in DNA and RNA has a growing importance in biology and medicine. One traditional approach for recognition of SNS takes advantage of hybridization probes that bind target nucleic acids followed by measuring ?Tm, the difference in melting temperatures of matched and mismatched hybrids. The approach enables SNS differentiation at elevated temperatures (usually 40-65oC) often only in a narrow range of <10oC and requires high-resolution melting devices. Here we demonstrate that a specially designed DNA probe (X sensor) can broaden ?Tm from ~10oC to ~16oC and distinguish SNS in the interval of ~5-40oC. Therefore, there is no need for heating or measuring Tm for accurate SNS differentiation. Our data indicate that this wide differentiation range is in part due to the non-equilibrium hybridization conditions. Further we explored the idea that it is possible to improve the performance of an X sensor operable in close to equilibrium conditions by shifting its operability to non-equilibrium conditions. One way to achieve this is to introduce as many as possible structured ligands in analyte's dissociated state. Here we show that by introducing the maximum possible conformational constraints in X probe it is possible to shift its operation to non-equilibrium conditions and to improve its selectivity at temperatures < 15oC. Thus, this work points towards a new strategy for the design of highly selective hybridization sensors which operate in non-equilibrium conditions at close to room temperature. The X sensors could be utilized in qPCR, microarrays, as well as RNA analysis in living cells and for ambient temperature point-of-care diagnostics. In the last part of this work, X sensors were used in real time detection of PCR products. The sensors were optimized to operate in PCR buffer with optimal Mg2+ concentration. They were able to detect the target amplicon together with nonspecific products. The results presented here suggest that X sensors might be adopted for real time PCR format.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences; Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Stancescu, Maria, "Optimization of Molecular Beacon-Based Multicomponent Probes for Analysis of Nucleic Acids" (2015). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1474.