Discrimination of Alternative Spliced Isoforms by Real-Time PCR Using Locked Nucleic Acid (LNA) Substituted Primer
Author(s)Wan, Guoqiang; Too, Heng-Phon
Determination of quantitative expression levels of alternatively spliced isoforms provides an important approach to the understanding of the functional significance of each isoform. Real-time PCR using exon junction overlapping primers has been shown to allow specific detection of each isoform. However, this design often suffers from severe cross amplification of sequences with high homology at the exon junctions. We used human GFRα2b as a model to evaluate the specificity of primers substituted with locked nucleic acids (LNAs). We demonstrate here that single LNA substitutions at different positions of 3’ terminus could improve the discrimination of the primers against GFRα2a template, a highly homologous isoform. While LNA substitutions of GFRα2b primer at the residues possessing different sequences as GFRα2a has limited improvement in specificity, two consecutive LNA substitutions preceding the different sequences has dramatically improved the discrimination by greater than 100,000-fold compared to the non-substituted primer. Thus, LNA when substituted at certain residues can allow the discrimination of highly homologous sequences.
Molecular Engineering of Biological and Chemical Systems (MEBCS)
Alternatively spliced isoforms, real-time PCR, locked nucleic acid (LNA)