Current protocols in molecular biology

Heat-activatable primers for hot-start PCR and hot-start one-step RT-PCR: endpoint and real-time experiments.

PMID 19816930


Hot-start PCR is a technique that improves PCR performance by reducing nonspecific amplification during the initial setup stages of the PCR. This unit describes hot-start PCR protocols which utilize primers containing temperature-sensitive modifications. The introduction of 4-oxo-tetradecyl (OXT) phosphotriester groups onto the 3' end of the primer allows for primer-based hot-start PCR that is amenable for use in a number of PCR-based applications. The protocols described in this unit utilize OXT-modified primers in applications such as standard thermal cycling PCR, fast thermal cycling PCR, multiplex PCR, and one-step reverse-transcription PCR. This method is also advantageous for instances where improved PCR specificity is desired and a hot-start polymerase suitable for your application is not available.