Linear-After-The-Exponential (LATE)-PCR: primer design criteria for high yields of specific single-stranded DNA and improved real-time detection.
ABSTRACT: Traditional asymmetric PCR uses conventional PCR primers at unequal concentrations to generate single-stranded DNA. This method, however, is difficult to optimize, often inefficient, and tends to promote nonspecific amplification. An alternative approach, Linear-After-The-Exponential (LATE)-PCR, solves these problems by using primer pairs deliberately designed for use at unequal concentrations. The present report systematically examines the primer design parameters that affect the exponential and linear phases of LATE-PCR amplification. In particular, we investigated how altering the concentration-adjusted melting temperature (Tm) of the limiting primer (TmL) relative to that of the excess primer (TmX) affects both amplification efficiency and specificity during the exponential phase of LATE-PCR. The highest reaction efficiency and specificity were observed when TmL - TmX 5 degrees C. We also investigated how altering TmX relative to the higher Tm of the double-stranded amplicon (TmA) affects the rate and extent of linear amplification. Excess primers with TmX closer to TmA yielded higher rates of linear amplification and stronger signals from a hybridization probe. These design criteria maximize the yield of specific single-stranded DNA products and make LATE-PCR more robust and easier to implement. The conclusions were validated by using primer pairs that amplify sequences within the cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR) gene, mutations of which are responsible for cystic fibrosis.
Project description:Conventional asymmetric PCR is inefficient and difficult to optimize because limiting the concentration of one primer lowers its melting temperature below the reaction annealing temperature. Linear-After-The-Exponential (LATE)-PCR describes a new paradigm for primer design that renders assays as efficient as symmetric PCR assays, regardless of primer ratio. LATE-PCR generates single-stranded products with predictable kinetics for many cycles beyond the exponential phase. LATE-PCR also introduces new probe design criteria that uncouple hybridization probe detection from primer annealing and extension, increase probe reliability, improve allele discrimination, and increase signal strength by 80-250% relative to symmetric PCR. These improvements in PCR are particularly useful for real-time quantitative analysis of target numbers in small samples. LATE-PCR is adaptable to high throughput applications in fields such as clinical diagnostics, biodefense, forensics, and DNA sequencing. We showcase LATE-PCR via amplification of the cystic fibrosis CFDelta508 allele and the Tay-Sachs disease TSD 1278 allele from single heterozygous cells.
Project description:Detection of rare mutant alleles in an excess of wild type alleles is increasingly important in cancer diagnosis. Several methods for selective amplification of a mutant allele via the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) have been reported, but each of these methods has its own limitations. A common problem is that Taq DNA polymerase errors early during amplification generate false positive mutations which also accumulate exponentially. In this paper, we described a novel method using hairpin oligonucleotide blockers that can selectively inhibit the amplification of wild type DNA during LATE-PCR amplification. LATE-PCR generates double-stranded DNA exponentially followed by linear amplification of single-stranded DNA. The efficiency of the blocker is optimized by adjusting the LATE-PCR temperature cycling profile. We also demonstrate that it is possible to minimize false positive signals caused by Taq DNA polymerase errors by using a mismatched excess primer plus a modified PCR profile to preferentially enrich for mutant target sequences prior to the start of the exponential phase of LATE-PCR amplification. In combination these procedures permit amplification of specific KRAS mutations in the presence of more than 10,000 fold excess of wild type DNA without false positive signals.
Project description:A multiplex snapback primer system was developed for the simultaneous detection of JAK2 V617F and MPL W515L/K mutations in Philadelphia chromosome- (Ph-) negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs). The multiplex system comprises two snapback versus limiting primer sets for JAK2 and MPL mutation enrichment and detection, respectively. Linear-After exponential (LATE) PCR strategy was employed for the primer design to maximize the amplification efficiency of the system. Low ionic strength buffer and rapid PCR protocol allowed for selective amplification of the mutant alleles. Amplification products were analyzed by melting curve analysis for mutation identification. The multiplex system archived 0.1% mutation load sensitivity and <5% coefficient of variation inter-/intra-assay reproducibility. 120 clinical samples were tested by the multiplex snapback primer assay, and verified with amplification refractory system (ARMS), quantitative PCR (qPCR) and Sanger sequencing method. The multiplex system, with a favored versatility, provided the molecular diagnosis of Ph-negative MPNs with a suitable implement and simplified the genetic test process.
Project description:Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a powerful method to produce linear DNA fragments. Here we describe the Tma thermostable DNA ligase-mediated PCR production of circular plasmid (PPCP) and its application in directed evolution via in situ error-prone PCR. In this thermostable DNA ligase-mediated whole-plasmid amplification method, the resultant DNA nick between the 5' end of the PCR primer and the extended newly synthesized DNA 3' end of each PCR cycle is ligated by Tma DNA ligase, resulting in circular plasmid DNA product that can be directly transformed. The template plasmid DNA is eliminated by 'selection marker swapping' upon transformation. When performed under an error-prone condition with Taq DNA polymerase, PPCP allows one-step construction of mutagenesis libraries based on in situ error-prone PCR so that random mutations are introduced into the target gene without altering the expression vector plasmid. A significant difference between PPCP and previously published methods is that PPCP allows exponential amplification of circular DNA. We used this method to create random mutagenesis libraries of a xylanase gene and two cellulase genes. Screening of these libraries resulted in mutant proteins with desired properties, demonstrating the usefulness of in situ error-prone PPCP for creating random mutagenesis libraries for directed evolution.
Project description:A simple isothermal nucleic-acid amplification reaction, primer generation-rolling circle amplification (PG-RCA), was developed to detect specific nucleic-acid sequences of sample DNA. This amplification method is achievable at a constant temperature (e.g. 60 degrees C) simply by mixing circular single-stranded DNA probe, DNA polymerase and nicking enzyme. Unlike conventional nucleic-acid amplification reactions such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR), this reaction does not require exogenous primers, which often cause primer dimerization or non-specific amplification. Instead, 'primers' are generated and accumulated during the reaction. The circular probe carries only two sequences: (i) a hybridization sequence to the sample DNA and (ii) a recognition sequence of the nicking enzyme. In PG-RCA, the circular probe first hybridizes with the sample DNA, and then a cascade reaction of linear rolling circle amplification and nicking reactions takes place. In contrast with conventional linear rolling circle amplification, the signal amplification is in an exponential mode since many copies of 'primers' are successively produced by multiple nicking reactions. Under the optimized condition, we obtained a remarkable sensitivity of 84.5 ymol (50.7 molecules) of synthetic sample DNA and 0.163 pg (approximately 60 molecules) of genomic DNA from Listeria monocytogenes, indicating strong applicability of PG-RCA to various molecular diagnostic assays.
Project description:Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of complex microbial genomic DNA templates with degenerate primers can lead to distortion of the underlying community structure due to inefficient primer-template interactions leading to bias. We previously described a method of deconstructed PCR ("PEX PCR") to separate linear copying and exponential amplification stages of PCR to reduce PCR bias. In this manuscript, we describe an improved deconstructed PCR ("DePCR") protocol separating linear and exponential stages of PCR and allowing higher throughput of sample processing. We demonstrate that the new protocol shares the same benefits of the original and show that the protocol dramatically and significantly decreases the formation of chimeric sequences during PCR. By employing PCR with annealing temperature gradients, we further show that there is a strong negative correlation between annealing temperature and the evenness of primer utilization in a complex pool of degenerate primers. Shifting primer utilization patterns mirrored shifts in observed microbial community structure in a complex microbial DNA template. We further employed the DePCR method to amplify the same microbial DNA template independently with each primer variant from a degenerate primer pool. The non-degenerate primers generated a broad range of observed microbial communities, but some were highly similar to communities observed with degenerate primer pools. The same experiment conducted with standard PCR led to consistently divergent observed microbial community structure. The DePCR method is simple to perform, is limited to PCR mixes and cleanup steps, and is recommended for reactions in which degenerate primer pools are used or when mismatches between primers and template are possible.
Project description:BACKGROUND: In conventional PCR, total amplicon yield becomes independent of starting template number as amplification reaches plateau and varies significantly among replicate reactions. This paper describes a strategy for reconfiguring PCR so that the signal intensity of a single fluorescent detection probe after PCR thermal cycling reflects genomic composition. The resulting method corrects for product yield variations among replicate amplification reactions, permits resolution of homozygous and heterozygous genotypes based on endpoint fluorescence signal intensities, and readily identifies imbalanced allele ratios equivalent to those arising from gene/chromosomal duplications. Furthermore, the use of only a single colored probe for genotyping enhances the multiplex detection capacity of the assay. RESULTS: Two-Temperature LATE-PCR endpoint genotyping combines Linear-After-The-Exponential (LATE)-PCR (an advanced form of asymmetric PCR that efficiently generates single-stranded DNA) and mismatch-tolerant probes capable of detecting allele-specific targets at high temperature and total single-stranded amplicons at a lower temperature in the same reaction. The method is demonstrated here for genotyping single-nucleotide alleles of the human HEXA gene responsible for Tay-Sachs disease and for genotyping SNP alleles near the human p53 tumor suppressor gene. In each case, the final probe signals were normalized against total single-stranded DNA generated in the same reaction. Normalization reduces the coefficient of variation among replicates from 17.22% to as little as 2.78% and permits endpoint genotyping with >99.7% accuracy. These assays are robust because they are consistent over a wide range of input DNA concentrations and give the same results regardless of how many cycles of linear amplification have elapsed. The method is also sufficiently powerful to distinguish between samples with a 1:1 ratio of two alleles from samples comprised of 2:1 and 1:2 ratios of the same alleles. CONCLUSION: SNP genotyping via Two-Temperature LATE-PCR takes place in a homogeneous closed-tube format and uses a single hybridization probe per SNP site. These assays are convenient, rely on endpoint analysis, improve the options for construction of multiplex assays, and are suitable for SNP genotyping, mutation scanning, and detection of DNA duplication or deletions.
Project description:In vitro reconstitution of the bacteriophage T4 replication machinery provides a novel system for fast and processive isothermal DNA amplification. We have characterized this system in two formats: (i) in circular nicking endonuclease-dependent amplification (cNDA), the T4 replisome is supplemented with a nicking endonuclease (Nb.BbvCI) and a reverse primer to generate a well-defined uniform double-stranded linear product and to achieve up to 1100-fold linear amplification of a plasmid in 1 h. (ii) The T4 replisome with its primase (gp61) can also support priming and exponential amplification of genomic DNA in primase-based whole-genome amplification (T4 pWGA). Low amplification biases between 4.8 and 9.8 among eight loci for 0.3-10 ng template DNA suggest that this method is indeed suitable for uniform whole-genome amplification. Finally, the utility of the T4 replisome for isothermal DNA amplification is demonstrated in various applications, including incorporation of functional tags for DNA labeling and immobilization; template generation for in vitro transcription/translation and sequencing; and colony screening and DNA quantification.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Amplification of single-stranded DNA circles has wide utility for a variety of applications. The two-primer ramified rolling circle amplification (RAM) reaction provides exponential DNA amplification under isothermal conditions, creating a regular laddered series of double-stranded DNA products. However, the molecular mechanism of the RAM reaction remains unexplained. RESULTS: A RAM reaction model predicts exponential accumulation of a double-stranded DNA product size series, and product-size ratios, that are consistent with observed RAM reaction products. The mechanism involves generation of a series of increasing size intermediate templates; those templates produce RAM products and recursively generate smaller intermediate templates. The model allows prediction of the number of rounds of circular template replication. Real-time RAM reaction data are consistent with the model. Analysis of RAM reaction products shows exponential growth limitation consistent with the model's predictions. CONCLUSIONS: The model provides a rationale for the observed products of the RAM reaction, and the molecular yield among those products. Experimental results are consistent with the model.
Project description:Using an untargeted metabolomics approach in initial (N = 99 subjects) and replication cohorts (N = 1,162), we discovered and structurally identified a plasma metabolite associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risks, N6,N6,N6-trimethyl-L-lysine (trimethyllysine, TML). Stable-isotope-dilution tandem mass spectrometry analyses of an independent validation cohort (N = 2,140) confirmed TML levels are independently associated with incident (3-year) major adverse cardiovascular event risks (hazards ratio [HR], 2.4; 95% CI, 1.7-3.4) and incident (5-year) mortality risk (HR, 2.9; 95% CI, 2.0-4.2). Genome-wide association studies identified several suggestive loci for TML levels, but none reached genome-wide significance; and d9(trimethyl)-TML isotope tracer studies confirmed TML can serve as a nutrient precursor for gut microbiota-dependent generation of trimethylamine (TMA) and the atherogenic metabolite trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO). Although TML was shown to be abundant in both plant- and animal-derived foods, mouse and human fecal cultures (omnivores and vegans) showed slow conversion of TML to TMA. Furthermore, unlike chronic dietary choline, TML supplementation in mice failed to elevate plasma TMAO or heighten thrombosis potential in vivo. Thus, TML is identified as a strong predictor of incident CVD risks in subjects and to serve as a dietary precursor for gut microbiota-dependent generation of TMAO; however, TML does not appear to be a major microbial source for TMAO generation in vivo.