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, 256 (2), 1023-8

A General Method for Detection and Characterization of an mRNA Using an Oligonucleotide Probe

  • PMID: 6161125

A General Method for Detection and Characterization of an mRNA Using an Oligonucleotide Probe

K L Agarwal et al. J Biol Chem.

Abstract

A general method for the detection and characterization of an mRNA using an oligodeoxynucleotide probe is described. The results presented indicate that a G-dT or a dG-U base pair within a short DNA-RNA hybrid does not significantly reduce the stability of the hybrid. On this basis, we propose that 11 amino acids, including Trp and Met, can be used in selecting a peptide sequence suitable for use in designing an oligodeoxynucleotide probe complementary to a given mRNA. To test this hypothesis, we have synthesized an oligodeoxynucleotide (oligo II) complementary to the region of gastrin mRNA coding for Trp-Met-Asp-Phe and have compared its effectiveness as a hybridization probe and as a primer for the synthesis of gastrin-specific cDNA with another oligonucleotide (oligo I) complementary to the region of gastrin mRNA coding for Trp-Met-Glu-Glu. Unlike oligo I, oligo II functions as a primer in specific cDNA synthesis only when the mRNA is denatured prior to initiation of synthesis. Similarly, oligo II can be used as a specific hybridization probe for gastrin mRNA only when the RNA is denatured and partially cleaved with NaOH before hybridization. A simple procedure for denaturing gastrin mRNA to ensure efficient interaction with oligodeoxynucleotide probes is described. This procedure should be useful in studies with other oligonucleotides and mRNAs as well.

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