5_22b/2009Polymerase chain reaction: Small 22/2009

The cover picture illustrates how gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) can dynamically modulate the activity of DNA polymerases and realize hot-start (HS)-like effects in polymerase chain reactions (PCR). In particular, when a high-fidelity Pfu DNA polymerase is combined with AuNPs it becomes a HS version of Pfu with high fidelity and high specificity. That is, AuNPs inactivate the polymerase activity of Pfu at low temperature, resembling an antibody-based HS PCR, which largely suppresses non-specific amplification at temperatures between 30 °C and 60 °C, leading to highly specific and sensitive PCR amplification with Pfu. More importantly, the fidelity of Pfu is not sacrificed in the presence of AuNPs. This AuNP-based HS strategy provides a straightforward and potentially versatile approach to realize high-performance PCR amplification. For more information, please read the Full Paper “Modulation of DNA Polymerases with Gold Nanoparticles and Their Application in Hot-Start PCR” by C. Fan, J. Hu, et al., beginning on page 2597.

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