Oligonucleotide Conjugates for Detection of Specific Nucleic Acid Sequences
In this chapter, we summarise the designs of fluorophore-modified nucleic acids used as probes for the detection of target DNA/RNA. Recently, there has been an increasing demand for the sequence-specific detection of DNA and RNA in biology and biotechnology. Fluorescent probes based on nucleic acids are useful because of their simplicity and ease of handling. Here, we described three types of fluorescent probe: 1) linear probes, 2) binary probes, and 3) molecular beacons. Each can have one or more fluorophores. Mechanisms for the fluorescence responses of these probes are also discussed in detail. These fluorescent probes have been used in real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), genetic analyses, and messenger RNA (mRNA) imaging in living cells. Improvements in sensitivity, selectivity, and nuclease resistance of these probes will lead to more widespread applications in chemical biology, biotechnology, and medicine.