Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Curr Protoc Immunol. 2001 May;Chapter 10:Unit 10.20. doi: 10.1002/0471142735.im1020s24.

Enzymatic amplification of DNA by PCR: standard procedures and optimization.

Author information

  • 1Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


This unit describes a method for amplifying DNA enzymatically by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and for optimizing this reaction for the sequence and primer set of interest. Important variables that can influence the outcome of PCR include the MgCl(2) concentration and the cycling temperatures. Additives that promote polymerase stability and processivity or increase hybridization stringency, and strategies that reduce nonspecific primer-template interactions, especially prior to the critical first cycle, can greatly improve sensitivity, specificity, and yield. This protocol is designed to optimize the reaction components and conditions in one or two stages. The first stage determines the optimal MgCl(2) concentration and screens several enhancing additives. To further improve specificity, sensitivity and yield, the second stage compares methods for optimizing initial specific hybridization to prevent polymerization of misprimed sequences prior to thermal cycling. For initial inhibition of polymerase activity, temperature (i.e., cooling reagents), physical separation ("hot start" method), and reversible antibody binding are compared.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Support Center