Discrimination of Primer 3′-Nucleotide Mismatch by Taq DNA Polymerase during Polymerase Chain Reaction
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We investigated the effect of primer-template mismatch on the efficiency of polymerase chain reaction. For primers with T, C, or G as the 3' nucleotide, Thermus aquaticus (Taq) DNA polymerase was highly specific for template complementarity to this base, but was somewhat less constrained opposite the penultimate nucleotide. In contrast, primers with a 3'-terminal A were less efficiently amplified regardless of the corresponding nucleotide on the template strand. Thus, allele-specific PCR with Taq polymerase offers the greatest template discrimination (40- to 100-fold) against mismatch to a primer's 3'-terminal T, G, or C, but not A. Nucleotides at the penultimate position are responsible for roughly one-fifth as much mismatch discrimination (8- to 20-fold), and amplification efficiency is reduced when T and especially A occupy this primer position. We thus have defined conditions which allow robust discrimination for PCR-mediated analysis of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and for reduction in complexity of anchor-ligation PCR products.
author list (cited authors)
Ayyadevara, S., Thaden, J. J., & Reis, R.