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Home > News > The rigid future of DNA labels

April 3rd, 2008

The rigid future of DNA labels

Abstract:
How do you study DNA without affecting it? Chemists have linked fluorescent tags to DNA to minimise unwanted interactions with the double helix.

Cyanine dyes are among the oldest classes of synthetic compounds and are used as fluorescent labels for DNA, proteins and other biomolecules. Shankar Balasubramanian and colleagues at the University of Cambridge, UK, attached these dyes to DNA by a rigid ethynyl linker.

Conventional, widely-used methods to attach cyanine dyes to DNA employ a flexible linker instead, explains Balasubramanian. 'We and others have shown that this results in a dye-DNA interaction that alters the stability of the DNA double helix.' In contrast, the UK team found that using the rigid ethynyl linker fixed the dye's geometry and position, preventing it from interacting with the DNA helix and so changing its stability and structure.

Source:
rsc.org

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