Comparison of the sequence-dependent fluorescence of the cyanine dyes Cy3, Cy5, DyLight DY547 and DyLight DY647 on single-stranded DNA.
ABSTRACT: Cyanine dyes are commonly used for fluorescent labeling of DNA and RNA oligonucleotides in applications including qPCR, sequencing, fluorescence in situ hybridization, Förster resonance energy transfer, and labeling for microarray hybridization. Previous research has shown that the fluorescence efficiency of Cy3 and Cy5, covalently attached to the 5' end of single-stranded DNA, is strongly sequence dependent. Here, we show that DY547 and DY647, two alternative cyanine dyes that are becoming widely used for nucleic acid labeling, have a similar pattern of sequence-dependence, with adjacent purines resulting in higher intensity and adjacent cytosines resulting in lower intensity. Investigated over the range of all 1024 possible DNA 5mers, the intensities of Cy3 and Cy5 drop by ? 50% and ? 65% with respect to their maxima, respectively, whereas the intensities of DY547 and DY647 fall by ? 45% and ? 40%, respectively. The reduced magnitude of change of the fluorescence intensity of the DyLight dyes, particularly of DY647 in comparison with Cy5, suggests that these dyes are less likely to introduce sequence-dependent bias into experiments based on fluorescent labeling of nucleic acids.
Project description:The fluorescent intensity of Cy3 and Cy5 dyes is strongly dependent on the nucleobase sequence of the labeled oligonucleotides. Sequence-dependent fluorescence may significantly influence the data obtained from many common experimental methods based on fluorescence detection of nucleic acids, such as sequencing, PCR, FRET, and FISH. To quantify sequence dependent fluorescence, we have measured the fluorescence intensity of Cy3 and Cy5 bound to the 5' end of all 1024 possible double-stranded DNA 5mers. The fluorescence intensity was also determined for these dyes bound to the 5' end of fixed-sequence double-stranded DNA with a variable sequence 3' overhang adjacent to the dye. The labeled DNA oligonucleotides were made using light-directed, in situ microarray synthesis. The results indicate that the fluorescence intensity of both dyes is sensitive to all five bases or base pairs, that the sequence dependence is stronger for double- (vs single-) stranded DNA, and that the dyes are sensitive to both the adjacent dsDNA sequence and the 3'-ssDNA overhang. Purine-rich sequences result in higher fluorescence. The results can be used to estimate measurement error in experiments with fluorescent-labeled DNA, as well as to optimize the fluorescent signal by considering the nucleobase environment of the labeling cyanine dye.
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: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:Covalent heterodimers of the Cy3 and Cy5 fluorophores have been prepared from commercially available starting materials and characterized at the single-molecule level. This system behaves as a discrete molecular photoswitch, in which photoexcitation of the Cy5 results in fluorescence emission or, with a much lower probability, causes the Cy5 to enter into a long-lived, but metastable, dark state. Photoinduced recovery of the emissive Cy5 is achieved by very low intensity excitation (5 W cm(-2)) of the Cy3 fluorophore at a shorter wavelength. A similar system consisting of proximal, but not covalently linked, Cy3 and Cy5 has found application in stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM), a single-molecule localization-based technique for super-resolution imaging that requires photoswitching. The covalent Cy3-Cy5 heterodimers described herein eliminate the need for probabilistic methods of situating the Cy3 and Cy5 in close proximity to enable photoswitching. As proof of principle, these heterodimers have been applied to super-resolution imaging of the tubular stalk structures of live Caulobacter crescentus bacterial cells.
Project description:We describe the engineering of reversible fluorescence photoswitching in DNA with high-density substitution, and its applications in advanced fluorescence microscopy methods. High-density labeling of DNA with cyanine dyes can be achieved by polymerase chain reaction using a modified DNA polymerase that has been evolved to efficiently incorporate Cy3- and Cy5-labeled cytosine base analogues into double-stranded DNA. The resulting biopolymer, "CyDNA", displays hundreds of fluorophores per DNA strand and is strongly colored and highly fluorescent, although previous observations suggest that fluorescence quenching at such high density might be a concern, especially for Cy5. Herein, we first investigate the mechanisms of fluorescence quenching in CyDNA and we suggest that two different mechanisms, aggregate formation and resonance energy transfer, are responsible for fluorescence quenching at high labeling densities. Moreover, we have been able to re-engineer CyDNA into a reversible fluorescence photoswitchable biopolymer by using the properties of the Cy3-Cy5 pair. This novel biopolymer constitutes a new class of photoactive DNA-based nanomaterial and is of great interest for advanced microscopy applications. We show that reversible fluorescence photoswitching in CyDNA can be exploited in optical lock-in detection imaging. It also lays the foundations for improved and sequence-specific super-resolution fluorescence microscopy of DNA.
Project description:We have found that the efficiency of fluorescence resonance energy transfer between Cy3 and Cy5 terminally attached to the 5' ends of a DNA duplex is significantly affected by the relative orientation of the two fluorophores. The cyanine fluorophores are predominantly stacked on the ends of the helix in the manner of an additional base pair, and thus their relative orientation depends on the length of the helix. Observed fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) efficiency depends on the length of the helix, as well as its helical periodicity. By changing the helical geometry from B form double-stranded DNA to A form hybrid RNA/DNA, a marked phase shift occurs in the modulation of FRET efficiency with helix length. Both curves are well explained by the standard geometry of B and A form helices. The observed modulation for both polymers is less than that calculated for a fully rigid attachment of the fluorophores. However, a model involving lateral mobility of the fluorophores on the ends of the helix explains the observed experimental data. This has been further modified to take account of a minor fraction of unstacked fluorophore observed by fluorescent lifetime measurements. Our data unequivocally establish that Förster transfer obeys the orientation dependence as expected for a dipole-dipole interaction.
Project description:To develop structural modifications of dNTPs that are compatible with Taq DNA polymerase activity, we synthesized eight dUTP derivatives conjugated with Cy3 or Cy5 dye analogues that differed in charge and charge distribution throughout the fluorophore. These dUTP derivatives and commercial Cy3- and Cy5-dUTP were studied in Taq polymerase-dependent polymerase chain reactions (PCRs) and in primer extension reactions using model templates containing one, two and three adjacent adenine nucleotides. The relative amounts of amplified DNA and the kinetic parameters Km and Vmax characterizing the incorporation of labelled dUMPs have been estimated using fluorescence measurements and analysed. The dUTPs labelled with electroneutral zwitterionic analogues of Cy3 or Cy5 fluorophores were used by Taq polymerase approximately one order of magnitude more effectively than the dUTPs labelled with negatively charged analogues of Cy3 or Cy5. The nucleotidyl transferase activity of Taq polymerase was also observed and resulted in the addition of dUMPs labelled with electroneutral or positively charged fluorophores to the 3' ends of DNA. The introduction of mutually compensating charges into fluorophores or other functional groups conjugated to dNTPs can be considered a basis for the creation of PCR-compatible modified nucleoside triphosphates.
Project description:The cyanine dye Cy3 is a popular fluorophore used to probe the binding of proteins to nucleic acids as well as their conformational transitions. Nucleic acids labeled only with Cy3 can often be used to monitor interactions with unlabeled proteins because of an enhancement of Cy3 fluorescence intensity that results when the protein contacts Cy3, a property sometimes referred to as protein-induced fluorescence enhancement (PIFE). Although Cy3 fluorescence is enhanced upon contacting most proteins, we show here in studies of human replication protein A and Escherichia coli single-stranded DNA binding protein that the magnitude of the Cy3 enhancement is dependent on both the protein as well as the orientation of the protein with respect to the Cy3 label on the DNA. This difference in PIFE is due entirely to differences in the final protein-DNA complex. We also show that the origin of PIFE is the longer fluorescence lifetime induced by the local protein environment. These results indicate that PIFE is not a through space distance-dependent phenomenon but requires a direct interaction of Cy3 with the protein, and the magnitude of the effect is influenced by the region of the protein contacting Cy3. Hence, use of the Cy3 PIFE effect for quantitative studies may require careful calibration.
Project description:Elaborating efficient strategies and deepening the understanding of light transport at the nanoscale is of great importance for future designs of artificial light-harvesting assemblies and dye-based photonic circuits. In this work, we focus on studying the phenomenon of Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) among fluorophores of the same kind (homo-FRET) and its implications for energy cascades containing two or three different dye molecules. Utilizing the spatial programmability of DNA origami, we arranged a chain of cyanine 3 (Cy3) dyes flanked at one end with a dye of lower excitation energy, cyanine 5 (Cy5), with or without an additional dye of higher excitation energy, Alexa488, at the other end. We characterized the response of our fluorophore assemblies with bulk and single-molecule spectroscopy and support our measurements by Monte Carlo modeling of energy transfer within the system. We find that, depending on the arrangement of the fluorophores, homo-FRET between the Cy3 dyes can lead to an overall enhanced energy transfer to the acceptor fluorophore. Furthermore, we systematically analyzed the homo-FRET system by addressing the fluorescence lifetime and anisotropy. Finally, we built a homo-FRET-mediated photonic wire capable of transferring energy through the homo-FRET system from the blue donor dye (Alexa488) to the red acceptor fluorophore (Cy5) across a total distance of 16 nm.