Dye lights up chain reaction
An improved fluorescence quencher that can analyse the products of polymerase chain reactions (PCR) has been developed by researchers in the UK.
Tom Brown and co-workers at the University of Southampton have developed their new quencher based on the dye Disperse Blue. The new quencher is more effective than others made to date, because it can absorb a broad range of wavelengths (and hence works with a range of fluorophores). It is also non-fluorescent, so problems with background fluorescence are eliminated.
PCR involves copying a DNA sequence enough times to be able to characterise it. Fluorescent compounds (fluorophores) are used to follow the progress of the reaction. These fluorophores emit light when the product is formed. The fluorophore starts out close to a quencher, keeping the fluorophore turned off. As the reaction progresses, the fluorophore and quencher become separated, and the fluorophore lights up.
The new quencher will allow shorter probes for PCR to be developed, and add to the progress of real-time PCR analysis.
J P May et al., Org. Biomol. Chem., 2005, 3, 2534 (DOI: 10.1039/b504759e)