Revealing Nucleic Acid Mutations Using Forster Resonance Energy Transfer-Based Probes

Nina P. L. Junager, Jacob Kongsted, Kira Astakhova

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Nucleic acid mutations are of tremendous importance in modern clinical work, biotechnology and in fundamental studies of nucleic acids. Therefore, rapid, cost-effective and reliable detection of mutations is an object of extensive research. Today, Forster resonance energy transfer (FRET) probes are among the most often used tools for the detection of nucleic acids and in particular, for the detection of mutations. However, multiple parameters must be taken into account in order to create efficient FRET probes that are sensitive to nucleic acid mutations. In this review; we focus on the design principles for such probes and available computational methods that allow for their rational design. Applications of advanced, rationally designed FRET probes range from new insights into cellular heterogeneity to gaining new knowledge of nucleic acid structures directly in living cells.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1173
Issue number8
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).


  • Nucleic acid
  • Mutation
  • Fluorescence
  • FRET
  • Molecular beacon
  • Binary probe
  • Computational strategies
  • In vitro hybridization

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