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DMSO in PCR

Discussion of all aspects of biological molecules, biochemical processes and laboratory procedures in the field.

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DMSO in PCR

Postby victor » Mon Jul 21, 2008 5:08 am

Hi there,
I just wondering while I'm doing PCR for beta-thalassemia mutation detections and my friend doing for alpha-thalassemia. I saw that she use DMSO solution in the PCR mix while I'm told it's not necessary to add DMSO in mine. When I ask her, she said that alpha-globin gene contains a relatively high G-C content compared to beta-globin, so DMSO is used in order to ease the two strands separation in the PCR.
When I read about DMSO in Wikipedia, it's said that addition of DMSO is used in PCR to prevent 2nd stucture formation of DNA but it increases DNA mutation rate (which I conclude will give wrong base pairing during cycles). My question is, what is the real function of DMSO addition in PCR mix? and if it increases mutation rate in DNA, how is the mechanism?
One mechanism that I can imagine is that DMSO is a relatively weak acid, so it readily destabilizes DNA by disturbing purine-deoxyribose bond, yielding apurinic acid. Is it true?

Thanks.
Victor Apriel
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A: They have all the solutions.
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Postby Istria » Sat Jul 26, 2008 8:58 pm

Ref: NAR 18 (16) 4953 'A specificity enhancer for polymerase chain reaction'
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