PMID: 7739900Apr 11, 1995

Interaction of dimeric intercalating dyes with single-stranded DNA

Nucleic Acids Research
H S Rye, A N Glazer


The unsymmetrical cyanine dye thiazole orange homodimer (TOTO) binds to single-stranded DNA (ssDNA, M13mp18 ssDNA) to form a fluorescent complex that is stable under the standard conditions of electrophoresis. The stability of this complex is indistinguishable from that of the corresponding complex of TOTO with double-stranded DNA (dsDNA). To examine if TOTO exhibits any binding preference for dsDNA or ssDNA, transfer of TOTO from pre-labeled complexes to excess unlabeled DNA was assayed by gel electrophoresis. Transfer of TOTO from M13 ssDNA to unlabeled dsDNA proceeds to the same extent as that from M13 dsDNA to unlabeled dsDNA. A substantial amount of the dye is retained by both the M13 ssDNA and M13 dsDNA even when the competing dsDNA is present at a 600-fold weight excess; for both dsDNA and ssDNA, the pre-labeled complex retains approximately one TOTO per 30 bp (dsDNA) or bases (ssDNA). Rapid transfer of dye from both dsDNA and ssDNA complexes is seen at Na+ concentrations > 50 mM. Interestingly, at higher Na+ or Mg2+ concentrations, the M13 ssDNA-TOTO complex appears to be more stable to intrinsic dissociation (dissociation in the absence of competing DNA) than the complex between TOTO and M13 dsDNA. Similar results were...Continue Reading


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