How Dual-Labeled Probes are Used in Curing Diseases

Summary: Dual-labeled probes offer insight into the fight against life-threatening diseases.

Dual-labeled oligonucleotide probes are one of the most common types of probes used in DNA synthesis. They have many medical benefits, as they are highly sensitive and allow for sequence specificity due to the groundbreaking design.

Although dual-labeled probes are used for many different reasons, including gene expression analysis and gene copy determination, one of the most important advances that geneticists have made in the medical field involve the use of probes for pathogen detection, and thus, the early discovery and treatment of many types of cancer.

Predictive medicine relies on the speed and accuracy of dual-labeled probes to locate tumors in early stages and keep track of their growth.

How do they work? Dual-labeled probes aid in the detection and curing of diseases through a process known as fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET).

A single-stranded oligonucleotide is labeled with two different colored dyes: a reporter dye and a quencher dye. The quencher is covalently attached to the 5’ to 3’ ends of an oligo. Typically, this works best for oligo sequences between twenty and thirty bases.

The probe emits a low level of fluorescence, and through hydrolysis, the reporter is released from the probe and then binds to the target DNA template. This process is known as hybridization, as the probe and the target bind together.

The emission of light that occurs during FRET can be viewed and tracked in real time with a PCR thermal cycler.


Bio: The Midland Certified Reagent Company sells modified oligonucleotides for DNA and RNA synthesis, and various research purposes.