%0 Journal Article
%A von Ahsen, Nicolas
%A Wittwer, Carl T.
%A Schütz, Ekkehard
%T Oligonucleotide Melting Temperatures under PCR Conditions: Nearest-Neighbor Corrections for Mg^{2+}, Deoxynucleotide Triphosphate, and Dimethyl Sulfoxide Concentrations with Comparison to Alternative Empirical Formulas
%D 2001
%J Clinical Chemistry
%P 1956-1961
%V 47
%N 11
%X Background: Many techniques in molecular biology depend on the oligonucleotide melting temperature (Tm), and several formulas have been developed to estimate Tm. Nearest-neighbor (N-N) models provide the highest accuracy for Tm prediction, but it is not clear how to adjust these models for the effects of reagents commonly used in PCR, such as Mg2+, deoxynucleotide triphosphates (dNTPs), and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). Methods: The experimental Tms of 475 matched or mismatched target/probe duplexes were obtained in our laboratories or were compiled from the literature based on studies using the same real-time PCR platform. This data set was used to evaluate the contributions of [Mg2+], [dNTPs], and [DMSO] in N-N calculations. In addition, best-fit coefficients for common empirical formulas based on GC content, length, and the equivalent sodium ion concentration of cations [Na+eq] were obtained by multiple regression. Results: When we used [Na+eq] = [Monovalent cations] + 120(\batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\sqrt{{[}Mg^{2{+}}{]}\ {-}\ {[}dNTPs{]}}\) \end{document}) (the concentrations in this formula are mmol/L) to correct ΔS0 and a DMSO term of 0.75 °C (%DMSO), the SE of the N-N Tm estimate was 1.76 °C for perfectly matched duplexes (n = 217). Alternatively, the empirical formula Tm (°C) = 77.1 °C + 11.7 × log[Na+eq] + 0.41(%GC) − 528/bp − 0.75 °C(%DMSO) gave a slightly higher SE of 1.87 °C. When all duplexes (matched and mismatched; n = 475) were included in N-N calculations, the SE was 2.06 °C. Conclusions: This robust model, accounting for the effects of Mg2+, DMSO, and dNTPs on oligonucleotide Tm in PCR, gives reliable Tm predictions using thermodynamic N-N calculations or empirical formulas.
%U http://clinchem.aaccjnls.org/content/clinchem/47/11/1956.full.pdf