Journal of Physical Chemistry Part B: Condensed Matter, Materials, Surfaces, Interfaces & Biophysical vol:111 issue:48 pages:13583-13590
While designing oligonucleotide-based microarrays, cross-hybridization between surface-bound oligos and non-intended labeled targets is probably the most difficult parameter to predict. Although literature describes rules-of-thumb concerning oligo length, overall similarity, and continuous stretches, the final behavior is difficult to predict. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of well-defined mismatches on hybridization specificity using CodeLink Activated Slides and to study quantitatively the relation between hybridization intensity and Gibbs free energy (DeltaG), taking the mismatches into account. Our data clearly showed a correlation between the hybridization intensity and DeltaG of the oligos over 3 orders of magnitude for the hybridization intensity, which could be described by the Langmuir model. As DeltaG was calculated according to the nearest-neighbor model, using values related to DNA hybridizations in solution, this study clearly shows that target-probe hybridizations on microarrays with a three-dimensional coating are in quantitative agreement with the corresponding reaction in solution. These results can be interesting for some practical applications. The correlation between intensity and DeltaG can be used in quality control of microarray hybridizations by designing probes and corresponding RNA spikes with a range of DeltaG values. Furthermore, this correlation might be of use to fine-tune oligonucleotide design algorithms in a way to improve the prediction of the influence of mismatching targets on microarray hybridizations.