Enzymological considerations for a theoretical description of the quantitative competitive polymerase chain reaction (QC-PCR)

J Theor Biol. 1997 Feb 21;184(4):433-40. doi: 10.1006/jtbi.1996.0283.


The enzymological principles of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and of the quantitative competitive PCR (QC-PCR) are developed, proposing a theoretical framework that will facilitate quantification in experimental methodologies. It is demonstrated that the specificity of the QC-PCR, i.e. the ratio of the target initial velocity to that of the competitor template, remains constant not only during a particular amplification but also for increasing initial competitor concentrations. Linear fitting procedures are thus recommended that will enable a quantitative estimate of the initial target concentration. Finally, expressions for the efficiency of the PCR and QC-PCR are derived that are in agreement with previous experimental inferences.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Enzymes*
  • Kinetics
  • Models, Biological
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Enzymes