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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Apr 15;100(8):4504-9. Epub 2003 Apr 4.

Isothermal reactions for the amplification of oligonucleotides.

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Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Science, 535 Watson Drive, Claremont, CA 91711, USA.


We have devised a class of isothermal reactions for amplifying DNA. These homogeneous reactions rapidly synthesize short oligonucleotides (8-16 bases) specified by the sequence of an amplification template. Versions of the reactions can proceed in either a linear or an exponential amplification mode. Both of these reactions require simple, constant conditions, and the rate of amplification depends entirely on the molecular parameters governing the interactions of the molecules in the reaction. The exponential version of the reaction is a molecular chain reaction that uses the oligonucleotide products of each linear reaction to create producers of more of the same oligonucleotide. It is a highly sensitive chain reaction that can be specifically triggered by given DNA sequences and can achieve amplifications of >10(6)-fold. Several similar reactions in this class are described here. The robustness, speed, and sensitivity of the exponential reaction suggest it will be useful in rapidly detecting the presence of small amounts of a specific DNA sequence in a sample, and a range of other applications, including many currently making use of the PCR.

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