Improved in situ hybridization efficiency with locked-nucleic-acid- incorporated DNA probes

Kengo Kubota, Akiyoshi Ohashi, Hiroyuki Imachi, Hideki Harada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)


Low signal intensity due to poor probe hybridization efficiency is one of the major drawbacks of rRNA-targeted in situ hybridization. There are two major factors affecting the hybridization efficiency: probe accessibility and affinity to the targeted rRNA molecules. In this study, we demonstrate remarkable improvement in in situ hybridization efficiency by applying locked-nucleic-acid (LNA)-incorporated oligodeoxynucleotide probes (LNA/DNA probes) without compromising specificity. Fluorescently labeled LNA/DNA probes with two to four LNA substitutions exhibited strong fluorescence intensities equal to or greater than that of probe Eub338, although these probes did not show bright signals when they were synthesized as DNA probes; for example, the fluorescence intensity of probe Eco468 increased by 22-fold after three LNA bases were substituted for DNA bases. Dissociation profiles of the probes revealed that the dissociation temperature was directly related to the number of LNA substitutions and the fluorescence intensity. These results suggest that the introduction of LNA residues in DNA probes will be a useful approach for effectively enhancing probe hybridization efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5311-5317
Number of pages7
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Aug


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