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Sequence-Dependent Fluorescence of Cyanine Dyes on Microarrays
Published: Monday, July 25, 2011
Author: Christy Agbavwe et al.

by Christy Agbavwe, Mark M. Somoza

Cy3 and Cy5 are among the most commonly used oligonucleotide labeling molecules. Studies of nucleic acid structure and dynamics use these dyes, and they are ubiquitous in microarray experiments. They are sensitive to their environment and have higher quantum yield when bound to DNA. The fluorescent intensity of terminal cyanine dyes is also known to be significantly dependent on the base sequence of the oligonucleotide. We have developed a very precise and high-throughput method to evaluate the sequence dependence of oligonucleotide labeling dyes using microarrays and have applied the method to Cy3 and Cy5. We used light-directed in-situ synthesis of terminally-labeled microarrays to determine the fluorescence intensity of each dye on all 1024 possible 5'-labeled 5-mers. Their intensity is sensitive to all five bases. Their fluorescence is higher with 5' guanines, and adenines in subsequent positions. Cytosine suppresses fluorescence. Intensity falls by half over the range of all 5-mers for Cy3, and two-thirds for Cy5. Labeling with 5'-biotin-streptavidin-Cy3/-Cy5 gives a completely different sequence dependence and greatly reduces fluorescence compared with direct terminal labeling.
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