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Biochemistry. 2000 Aug 8;39(31):9523-32.

Experimental and theoretical analysis of the invasive signal amplification reaction.

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Third Wave Technologies, Inc., Madison, Wisconsin 53719-1256, USA.


The invasive signal amplification reaction is a sensitive method for single nucleotide polymorphism detection and quantitative determination of viral load and gene expression. The method requires the adjacent binding of upstream and downstream oligonucleotides to a target nucleic acid (either DNA or RNA) to form a specific substrate for the structure-specific 5' nucleases that cleave the downstream oligonucleotide to generate signal. By running the reaction at an elevated temperature, the downstream oligonucleotide cycles on and off the target leading to multiple cleavage events per target molecule without temperature cycling. We have examined the performance of the FEN1 enzymes from Archaeoglobus fulgidus and Methanococcus jannaschii and the DNA polymerase I homologues from Thermus aquaticus and Thermus thermophilus in the invasive signal amplification reaction. We find that the reaction has a distinct temperature optimum which increases with increasing length of the downstream oligonucleotide. Raising the concentration of either the downstream oligonucleotide or the enzyme increases the reaction rate. When the reaction is configured to cycle the upstream instead of the downstream oligonucleotide, only the FEN1 enzymes can support a high level of cleavage. To investigate the origin of the background signal generated during the invasive reaction, the cleavage rates for several nonspecific substrates that arise during the course of a reaction were measured and compared with the rate of the specific reaction. We find that the different 5' nuclease enzymes display a much greater variability in cleavage rates on the nonspecific substrates than on the specific substrate. The experimental data are compared with a theoretical model of the invasive signal amplification reaction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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