We herein describe a novel quantitative PCR (qPCR) method, which operates in both signal-off and on manners, by utilizing a unique property of fluorescent nucleobase analogs. The first, signal-off method is developed by designing the primers to contain pyrrolo-dC (PdC), one of the most common fluorescent nucleobase analogs. The specially designed single-stranded primer is extended to form double-stranded DNA during PCR and the fluorescence signal from the PdCs incorporated in the primer is accordingly reduced due to its conformation-dependent fluorescence properties. In addition, the second, signal-on method is devised by designing the primers to contain 5′-overhang sequences complementary to the PdC-incorporated DNA probes. At the initial phase, the PdC-incorporated DNA probes are hybridized to the 5′-overhang sequences of the primer, exhibiting the significantly quenched fluorescence signal, but are detached by either hydrolysis or strand displacement reaction during PCR, leading to the highly enhanced fluorescence signal. This method is more advanced than the first one since it produces signal-on fluorescence response and permits the use of a single PdC-incorporated DNA probe for the detection of multiple target nucleic acids, remarkably decreasing the assay cost. With these novel qPCR methods, we successfully quantified target nucleic acids derived from sexually transmitted disease (STD) pathogens with high accuracy. Importantly, the proposed strategies overcome the major drawbacks in the current SYBR Green and TaqMan probe-based qPCR methods such as low specificity and high assay cost.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)