The interactions between the fluorescent dye thiazole orange and DNA

J NygrenMikael Kubista


The interaction of the fluorescent dye thiazole orange (TO) with nucleic acids is characterized. It is found that TO binds with highest affinity to double-stranded (ds) DNA [log (K) approximately 5.5 at 100 mM salt], about 5-10 times weaker to single-stranded polypurines, and further 10-1000 times weaker to single-stranded polypyrimidines. TO binds as a monomer to dsDNAs and poly(dA), both as a monomer and as a dimer to poly(dG) and mainly as a dimer to poly(dC) and poly(dT). The fluorescence quantum yield of TO free in solution is about 2 x 10(-4), and it increases to about 0.1 when bound to dsDNA or to poly(dA), and to about 0.4 when bound to poly(dG). Estimated quantum yields of TO bound to poly(dC) and poly(dT) are about 0.06 and 0.01, respectively. The quantum yield of bound TO depends on temperature and decreases about threefold between 5 and 50 degrees C.


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Thiazole orange
DNA, Double-Stranded
Fluorescence Spectroscopy

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