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Biotechniques. 2002 Apr;32(4):866, 868, 870-2, 874.

Novel sulfoxides facilitate GC-rich template amplification.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Princeton University, NJ 08544, USA.


Certain organic solvents, such as DMSO and betaine, have been reported to enhance PCR amplification, particularly for hard-to-amplify high-GC templates. As a result of extensive structure-activity studies between two groups of compounds--amides and sulfones--we have recently discovered several other potent PCR enhancers. Here we describe the effects of a series of different sulfoxides on GC-rich template amplification and report several of these to be exceptionally effective, often outperforming DMSO. We introduce them as novel PCR enhancers. We identify tetramethylene sulfoxide as the most potent sulfur-oxygen compound in the enhancement of PCR amplification and as one of the most potent PCR enhancers currently known.

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