The DNA polymerase chain reaction was developed for in vitro amplification of specific DNA sequences, and it has been used for a wide variety of purposes in several fields. We have developed an application of the polymerase chain reaction that is useful for the isolation of partial cDNA or genomic clones of conserved genes. We used this technique to clone the gene encoding the iron protein subunit (27 kDa) of succinate dehydrogenase (EC 126.96.36.199) from several species, including human, rat, Drosophila melanogaster, Arabidopsis thaliana, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Mixed oligonucleotide primers corresponding to two conserved regions of the protein were used in conjunction with genomic and cDNA templates in the reaction. The primers contained all possible nucleotide combinations that could encode the corresponding peptide sequences. These oligonucleotide mixtures contained 262,144 (218) and 8192 (213) unique sequences, respectively. Use of the polymerase chain reaction for homology probing allows one to utilize more complex mixtures of oligonucleotides as probes than is possible with filter hybridization screening techniques. In addition, the polymerase chain reaction offers the advantage of synthesizing the DNA product directly, in some cases obviating the need to construct cDNA or genomic libraries. This application of the polymerase chain reaction should be useful not only for the identification of conserved genes in a variety of species but also for the isolation of previously unknown members of gene families.
|Number of pages
|Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
|Published - 1989
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