Diffusion, mixing, and associated dye effects in DNA-microarray hybridizations.
ABSTRACT: Typical DNA microarrays utilize diffusion of dye-labeled cDNA probes followed by sequence-specific hybridization to immobilized targets. Here we experimentally estimated the distance typical probes travel during static 16-h hybridizations. Probes labeled with Cy3 and Cy5 were individually introduced to opposite sides of a microarray with minimal convective mixing. Oppositely labeled probes diffused across the initial front separating the two solutions, generating a zone with both dyes present. Diffusion-distance estimates for Cy3- and Cy5-labeled cDNAs were 3.8 mm and 2.6 mm, respectively, despite having almost identical molecular masses. In separate 16-h hybridization experiments with oppositely labeled probes premixed, arrays that were continuously mixed had 15-20% higher signal intensities than arrays hybridized statically. However, no change was observed in the Cy3/Cy5 signal intensity ratio between continuously mixed and static hybridizations. This suggests that the observed dye bias in diffusion-distance estimates results from differences in the detection limits of Cy3 and Cy5-labeled cDNA, a potential concern for array data on low-abundance transcripts. Our conservative diffusion-distance estimates indicate that replicate targets >7.6 mm apart will not compete for scarce probes. Also, raising the microarray gap height would delay the onset of diffusion-limited hybridization by increasing the amount of available probe.
Project description:A model DNA microarray has been prepared and shown to facilitate typing and subtyping of human influenza A and B viruses. Reverse transcriptase PCR was used to prepare cDNAs encoding approximately 500-bp influenza virus gene fragments, which were then cloned, sequenced, reamplified, and spotted to form a glass-bound microarray. These target DNAs included multiple fragments of the hemagglutinin, neuraminidase, and matrix protein genes. Cy3- or Cy5-labeled fluorescent probes were then hybridized to these target DNAs, and the arrays were scanned to determine the probe binding site(s). The hybridization pattern agreed perfectly with the known grid location of each target, and the signal-to-background ratio varied from 5 to 30. No cross-hybridization could be detected beyond that expected from the limited degree of sequence overlap between different probes and targets. At least 100 to 150 bp of homology was required for hybridization under the conditions used in this study. Combinations of Cy3- and Cy5-labeled DNAs can also be hybridized to the same chip, permitting further differentiation of amplified molecules in complex mixtures. In a more realistic test of the technology, several sets of multiplex PCR primers that collectively target influenza A and B virus strains were identified and were used to type and subtype several previously unsequenced influenza virus isolates. The results show that DNA microarray technology provides a useful supplement to PCR-based diagnostic methods.
Project description:BACKGROUND: RNA dot blot hybridization is a commonly used technique for gene expression assays. However, membrane based RNA dot/slot blot hybridization is time consuming, requires large amounts of RNA, and is less suited for parallel assays of more than one gene at a time. Here, we describe a glass-slide based miniaturized RNA dot blot (RNA array) procedure for rapid and parallel gene expression analysis using fluorescently labeled probes. RESULTS: RNA arrays were prepared by simple manual spotting of RNA onto amino-silane coated microarray glass slides, and used for two-color fluorescent hybridization with specific probes labeled with Cy3 and 18S ribosomal RNA house-keeping gene probe labeled with Cy5 fluorescent dyes. After hybridization, arrays were scanned on a fluorescent microarray scanner and images analyzed using microarray image analysis software. We demonstrate that this method gives comparable results to Northern blot analysis, and enables high throughput quantification of transcripts from nanogram quantities of total RNA in hundreds of samples. CONCLUSION: RNA array on glass slide and detection by fluorescently labeled probes can be used for rapid and parallel gene expression analysis. The method is particularly well suited for gene expression assays that involve quantitation of many transcripts in large numbers of samples.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Spotted cDNA microarrays generally employ co-hybridization of fluorescently-labeled RNA targets to produce gene expression ratios for subsequent analysis. Direct comparison of two RNA samples in the same microarray provides the highest level of accuracy; however, due to the number of combinatorial pair-wise comparisons, the direct method is impractical for studies including large number of individual samples (e.g., tumor classification studies). For such studies, indirect comparisons using a common reference standard have been the preferred method. Here we evaluated the precision and accuracy of reconstructed ratios from three indirect methods relative to ratios obtained from direct hybridizations, herein considered as the gold-standard. RESULTS: We performed hybridizations using a fixed amount of Cy3-labeled reference oligonucleotide (RefOligo) against distinct Cy5-labeled targets from prostate, breast and kidney tumor samples. Reconstructed ratios between all tissue pairs were derived from ratios between each tissue sample and RefOligo. Reconstructed ratios were compared to (i) ratios obtained in parallel from direct pair-wise hybridizations of tissue samples, and to (ii) reconstructed ratios derived from hybridization of each tissue against a reference RNA pool (RefPool). To evaluate the effect of the external references, reconstructed ratios were also calculated directly from intensity values of single-channel (One-Color) measurements derived from tissue sample data collected in the RefOligo experiments. We show that the average coefficient of variation of ratios between intra- and inter-slide replicates derived from RefOligo, RefPool and One-Color were similar and 2 to 4-fold higher than ratios obtained in direct hybridizations. Correlation coefficients calculated for all three tissue comparisons were also similar. In addition, the performance of all indirect methods in terms of their robustness to identify genes deemed as differentially expressed based on direct hybridizations, as well as false-positive and false-negative rates, were found to be comparable. CONCLUSION: RefOligo produces ratios as precise and accurate as ratios reconstructed from a RNA pool, thus representing a reliable alternative in reference-based hybridization experiments. In addition, One-Color measurements alone can reconstruct expression ratios without loss in precision or accuracy. We conclude that both methods are adequate options in large-scale projects where the amount of a common reference RNA pool is usually restrictive.
Project description:We describe a quantitative method for detecting RNA alternative splicing variants that combines in situ hybridization of fluorescently labeled peptide nucleic acid (PNA) probes with confocal microscopy Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET). The use of PNA probes complementary to sequences flanking a given splice junction allows to specifically quantify, within the cell, the RNA isoform generating such splice junction by FRET measure. As a proof of concept we analyzed two alternative splicing events originating from lymphocyte antigen 6 (LY6) complex, locus G5B (LY6G5B) pre-mRNA. These are characterized by the removal of the first intron (Fully Spliced Isoform, FSI) or by retention of such intron (Intron-Retained Isoform, IRI). The use of PNA probe pairs labeled with donor (Cy3) and acceptor (Cy5) fluorophores, suitable to FRET, flanking FSI and IRI specific splice junctions specifically detected both mRNA isoforms in HeLa cells. We have observed that the method works efficiently with probes 5-11 nt apart. The data supports that this FRET-based PNA fluorescence in situ hybridization (FP-FISH) method offers a conceptually new approach for characterizing at the subcellular level not only splice variant isoform structure, location and dynamics but also potentially a wide variety of close range RNA-RNA interactions.
Project description:DNA constructs labeled with cyanine fluorescent dyes are important substrates for single-molecule (sm) studies of the functional activity of protein-DNA complexes. We previously studied the local DNA backbone fluctuations of replication fork and primer-template DNA constructs labeled with Cy3/Cy5 donor-acceptor Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) chromophore pairs and showed that, contrary to dyes linked 'externally' to the bases with flexible tethers, direct 'internal' (and rigid) insertion of the chromophores into the sugar-phosphate backbones resulted in DNA constructs that could be used to study intrinsic and protein-induced DNA backbone fluctuations by both smFRET and sm Fluorescent Linear Dichroism (smFLD). Here we show that these rigidly inserted Cy3/Cy5 chromophores also exhibit two additional useful properties, showing both high photo-stability and minimal effects on the local thermodynamic stability of the DNA constructs. The increased photo-stability of the internal labels significantly reduces the proportion of false positive smFRET conversion 'background' signals, thereby simplifying interpretations of both smFRET and smFLD experiments, while the decreased effects of the internal probes on local thermodynamic stability also make fluctuations sensed by these probes more representative of the unperturbed DNA structure. We suggest that internal probe labeling may be useful in studies of many DNA-protein interaction systems.
Project description:Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) can resolve the intrinsic fast-blinking kinetics (FBKs) of fluorescent molecules that occur on the order of microseconds. These FBKs can be heavily influenced by the microenvironments in which the fluorescent molecules are contained. In this work, FCS is used to monitor the dynamics of fluorescence emission from Cy5 labeled on DNA probes. We found that the FBKs of Cy5 can be tuned by having more or less unpaired guanines (upG) and thymines (upT) around the Cy5 dye. The observed FBKs of Cy5 are found to predominantly originate from the isomerization and back-isomerization processes of Cy5, and Cy5-nucleobase interactions are shown to slow down these processes. These findings lead to a more precise quantification of DNA hybridization using FCS analysis, in which the FBKs play a major role rather than the diffusion kinetics. We further show that the alterations of the FBKs of Cy5 on probe hybridization can be used to differentiate DNA targets with single-nucleotide differences. This discrimination relies on the design of a probe-target-probe DNA three-way-junction, whose basepairing configuration can be altered as a consequence of a single-nucleotide substitution on the target. Reconfiguration of the three-way-junction alters the Cy5-upG or Cy5-upT interactions, therefore resulting in a measurable change in Cy5 FBKs. Detection of single-nucleotide variations within a sequence selected from the Kras gene is carried out to validate the concept of this new method.
Project description:Cy3 and Cy5 are among the most commonly used oligonucleotide labeling molecules. Studies of nucleic acid structure and dynamics use these dyes, and they are ubiquitous in microarray experiments. They are sensitive to their environment and have higher quantum yield when bound to DNA. The fluorescent intensity of terminal cyanine dyes is also known to be significantly dependent on the base sequence of the oligonucleotide. We have developed a very precise and high-throughput method to evaluate the sequence dependence of oligonucleotide labeling dyes using microarrays and have applied the method to Cy3 and Cy5. We used light-directed in-situ synthesis of terminally-labeled microarrays to determine the fluorescence intensity of each dye on all 1024 possible 5'-labeled 5-mers. Their intensity is sensitive to all five bases. Their fluorescence is higher with 5' guanines, and adenines in subsequent positions. Cytosine suppresses fluorescence. Intensity falls by half over the range of all 5-mers for Cy3, and two-thirds for Cy5. Labeling with 5'-biotin-streptavidin-Cy3/-Cy5 gives a completely different sequence dependence and greatly reduces fluorescence compared with direct terminal labeling.
Project description:Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with singly labeled rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probes is widely applied for direct identification of microbes in the environment or in clinical specimens. Here we show that a replacement of singly labeled oligonucleotide probes with 5'-, 3'-doubly labeled probes at least doubles FISH signal intensity without causing specificity problems. Furthermore, Cy3-doubly labeled probes strongly increase in situ accessibility of rRNA target sites and thus provide more flexibility for probe design.
Project description:Recent advances in fluorescence microscopy have enabled high-resolution imaging and tracking of single proteins and biomolecules in cells. To achieve high spatial resolutions in the nanometer range, bright and photostable fluorescent probes are critically required. From this view, there is a strong need for development of advanced fluorescent probes with molecular-scale dimensions for fluorescence imaging. Polymer-based dendrimer nanoconjugates hold strong potential to serve as versatile fluorescent probes due to an intrinsic capacity for tailored spectral properties such as brightness and emission wavelength. In this work, we report a new, to our knowledge, class of molecular probes based on dye-conjugated dendrimers for fluorescence imaging and single-molecule fluorescence microscopy. We engineered fluorescent dendritic nanoprobes (FDNs) to contain multiple organic dyes and reactive groups for target-specific biomolecule labeling. The photophysical properties of dye-conjugated FDNs (Cy5-FDNs and Cy3-FDNs) were characterized using single-molecule fluorescence microscopy, which revealed greatly enhanced photostability, increased probe brightness, and improved localization precision in high-resolution fluorescence imaging compared to single organic dyes. As proof-of-principle demonstration, Cy5-FDNs were used to assay single-molecule nucleic acid hybridization and for immunofluorescence imaging of microtubules in cytoskeletal networks. In addition, Cy5-FDNs were used as reporter probes in a single-molecule protein pull-down assay to characterize antibody binding and target protein capture. In all cases, the photophysical properties of FDNs resulted in enhanced fluorescence imaging via improved brightness and/or photostability.
Project description:We study the effect of dye-dye interactions in labeled double-stranded DNA molecules on the Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) efficiency at the single-molecule level. An extensive analysis of internally labeled double-stranded DNA molecules in bulk and at the single-molecule level reveals that donor-acceptor absolute distances can be reliably extracted down to approximately 3-nm separation, provided that dye-dye quenching is accounted for. At these short separations, we find significant long-lived fluorescence fluctuations among discrete levels originating from the simultaneous and synchronous quenching of both dyes. By comparing four different donor-acceptor dye pairs (TMR-ATTO647N, Cy3-ATTO647N, TMR-Cy5, and Cy3-Cy5), we find that this phenomenon depends on the nature of the dye pair used, with the cyanine pair Cy3-Cy5 showing the least amount of fluctuations. The significance of these results is twofold: First, they illustrate that when dye-dye quenching is accounted for, single-molecule FRET can be used to accurately measure inter-dye distances, even at short separations. Second, these results are useful when deciding which dye pairs to use for nucleic acids analyses using FRET.