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Biotechniques. 2000 Apr;28(4):732-8.

Homogeneous scoring of single-nucleotide polymorphisms: comparison of the 5'-nuclease TaqMan assay and Molecular Beacon probes.

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Uppsala University, Sweden.


Homogeneous assays based on real-time fluorescence monitoring during PCR are relevant alternatives for large-scale genotyping of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We compared the performance of the homogeneous TaqMan 5'-nuclease assay and the Molecular Beacon assay using three SNPs in the human estrogen receptor gene as targets. When analyzing a panel of 90 DNA samples, both assays yielded a comparable power of discrimination between the genotypes of a C-to-T transition in codon 10 and a G-to-A transition in codon 594 of the estrogen receptor gene. The Molecular Beacon probes distinguished better than the TaqMan probes between homozygous and heterozygous genotypes of a C-to-G transversion in codon 325. The sensitivity of detecting one allele, present as a minority in a mixed sample, varied between the SNPs and was similar for both assays. With the Molecular Beacon assay, the measured signal ratios were proportional to the amount of the minor allele over a wider range than with the TaqMan assay at all three SNPs.

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