Molecular Engineering of DNA: Molecular Beacons

Authors

  • Kemin Wang Prof.,

    1. Department of Chemistry and Department of Physiology and Functional Genomics, Center for Research at the Bio/Nano Interface, UF Genetics Institute and Shands Cancer Center, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-7200 (USA), Fax: (+1) 352-846-2410
    2. Biomedical Engineering Center, State Key Laboratory of Chemo/Biosensing and Chemometrics, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Hunan University, Changsha 410082 (P.R. China)
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Zhiwen Tang Dr.,

    1. Department of Chemistry and Department of Physiology and Functional Genomics, Center for Research at the Bio/Nano Interface, UF Genetics Institute and Shands Cancer Center, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-7200 (USA), Fax: (+1) 352-846-2410
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Chaoyong James Yang Dr.,

    1. Department of Chemical Biology, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005 (P.R. China)
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Youngmi Kim Dr.,

    1. Department of Chemistry and Department of Physiology and Functional Genomics, Center for Research at the Bio/Nano Interface, UF Genetics Institute and Shands Cancer Center, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-7200 (USA), Fax: (+1) 352-846-2410
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Xiaohong Fang Prof.,

    1. Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2 Zhongguancun Beiyijie, Beijing 100190 (P.R. China)
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Wei Li,

    1. Biomedical Engineering Center, State Key Laboratory of Chemo/Biosensing and Chemometrics, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Hunan University, Changsha 410082 (P.R. China)
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Yanrong Wu,

    1. Department of Chemistry and Department of Physiology and Functional Genomics, Center for Research at the Bio/Nano Interface, UF Genetics Institute and Shands Cancer Center, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-7200 (USA), Fax: (+1) 352-846-2410
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Colin D. Medley Dr.,

    1. Department of Chemistry and Department of Physiology and Functional Genomics, Center for Research at the Bio/Nano Interface, UF Genetics Institute and Shands Cancer Center, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-7200 (USA), Fax: (+1) 352-846-2410
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Zehui Cao Dr.,

    1. Department of Chemistry and Department of Physiology and Functional Genomics, Center for Research at the Bio/Nano Interface, UF Genetics Institute and Shands Cancer Center, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-7200 (USA), Fax: (+1) 352-846-2410
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Jun Li Dr.,

    1. Biomedical Engineering Center, State Key Laboratory of Chemo/Biosensing and Chemometrics, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Hunan University, Changsha 410082 (P.R. China)
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Patrick Colon,

    1. Department of Chemistry and Department of Physiology and Functional Genomics, Center for Research at the Bio/Nano Interface, UF Genetics Institute and Shands Cancer Center, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-7200 (USA), Fax: (+1) 352-846-2410
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Hui Lin,

    1. Department of Chemistry and Department of Physiology and Functional Genomics, Center for Research at the Bio/Nano Interface, UF Genetics Institute and Shands Cancer Center, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-7200 (USA), Fax: (+1) 352-846-2410
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Weihong Tan Prof.

    1. Department of Chemistry and Department of Physiology and Functional Genomics, Center for Research at the Bio/Nano Interface, UF Genetics Institute and Shands Cancer Center, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-7200 (USA), Fax: (+1) 352-846-2410
    2. Biomedical Engineering Center, State Key Laboratory of Chemo/Biosensing and Chemometrics, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Hunan University, Changsha 410082 (P.R. China)
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Molecular beacons (MBs) are specifically designed DNA hairpin structures that are widely used as fluorescent probes. Applications of MBs range from genetic screening, biosensor development, biochip construction, and the detection of single-nucleotide polymorphisms to mRNA monitoring in living cells. The inherent signal-transduction mechanism of MBs enables the analysis of target oligonucleotides without the separation of unbound probes. The MB stem–loop structure holds the fluorescence-donor and fluorescence-acceptor moieties in close proximity to one another, which results in resonant energy transfer. A spontaneous conformation change occurs upon hybridization to separate the two moieties and restore the fluorescence of the donor. Recent research has focused on the improvement of probe composition, intracellular gene quantitation, protein–DNA interaction studies, and protein recognition.

Ancillary