BiSearch is a primer-design algorithm for DNA sequences. It may be used for both bisulfite converted as well as for original not modified sequences. You can search various genomes with the designed primers to avoid non-specific PCR products by our fast ePCR method. This is especially recommended when primers are designed to amplify the highly redundant bisulfite treated sequences. It has the unique property of analyzing the primer pairs for mispriming sites on the bisulfite-treated genome and determines potential non-specific amplification products with a new search algorithm. The options of primer-design and analysis for mispriming sites can be used sequentially or separately, both on bisulfite-treated and untreated sequences. In silico and in vitro tests of the software suggest that new PCR strategies may increase the efficiency of the amplification.
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Bisulfite genomic sequencing is the most widely used technique to analyze the 5-methylation of cytosines, the prevalent covalent DNA modification in mammals. The process is based on the selective transformation of unmethylated cytosines to uridines. Then, the investigated genomic regions are PCR amplified, subcloned and sequenced. During sequencing, the initially unmethylated cytosines are detected as thymines. The efficacy of bisulfite PCR is generally low; mispriming and non-specific amplification often occurs due to the T richness of the target sequences. In order to ameliorate the efficiency of PCR, we developed a new primer-design software called BiSearch, available on the World Wide Web. It has the unique property of analyzing the primer pairs for mispriming sites on the bisulfite-treated genome and determines potential non-specific amplification products with a new search algorithm. The options of primer-design and analysis for mispriming sites can be used sequentially or separately, both on bisulfite-treated and untreated sequences. In silico and in vitro tests of the software suggest that new PCR strategies may increase the efficiency of the amplification.
BACKGROUND: A large number of PCR primer-design softwares are available online. However, only very few of them can be used for the design of primers to amplify bisulfite-treated DNA templates, necessary to determine genomic DNA methylation profiles. Indeed, the number of studies on bisulfite-treated templates exponentially increases as determining DNA methylation becomes more important in the diagnosis of cancers. Bisulfite-treated DNA is difficult to amplify since undesired PCR products are often amplified due to the increased sequence redundancy after the chemical conversion. In order to increase the efficiency of PCR primer-design, we have developed BiSearch web server, an online primer-design tool for both bisulfite-treated and native DNA templates. RESULTS: The web tool is composed of a primer-design and an electronic PCR (ePCR) algorithm. The completely reformulated ePCR module detects potential mispriming sites as well as undesired PCR products on both cDNA and native or bisulfite-treated genomic DNA libraries. Due to the new algorithm of the current version, the ePCR module became approximately hundred times faster than the previous one and gave the best performance when compared to other web based tools. This high-speed ePCR analysis made possible the development of the new option of high-throughput primer screening. BiSearch web server can be used for academic researchers at the http://bisearch.enzim.hu site. CONCLUSION: BiSearch web server is a useful tool for primer-design for any DNA template and especially for bisulfite-treated genomes. The ePCR tool for fast detection of mispriming sites and alternative PCR products in cDNA libraries and native or bisulfite-treated genomes are the unique features of the new version of BiSearch software.
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