Three most common questions about nucleotides

Photo: Frequently asked questions about nucleotides

dNTPs, aka building blocks of DNA, play an important role in many experiments made with DNA or RNA but do we know enough about them? Over the years we have gotten a lot of questions regarding dNTP-s and we decided to answer a few of them here: 

- dNTPs and DNA

When talking about DNA, one of the most important questions to think about is what is it actually made of. The answer is short: nucleotides!

A nucleotide is an organic molecule that acts as a monomeric building block of DNA. The right combination of 6 billion nucleotides determines all congenital traits of a human organism! Our DNA is assembled from four different nucleotides: dATPs, dGTPs, dCTPs and dTTPs. What connects them is that they all contain a 5-carbon sugar (deoxyribose) with a nitrogenous base and three phosphate groups bound to it by covalent bonds. What differentiates them is that every one of these nucleotides has a specific nitrogenous base: either adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C) or thymine (T). Now we see, where the abbreviation, dNTP, comes from: d refers to deoxyribose, N to nitrogenous base, T to three, and P to phosphates.

Nucleotide structure dATPNucleotide structure_dTTP

nucleotide structure dGTPNucleotide structure dCTP

- what is the role of dNTPs in biology and biotechnology

Nature, being the smartest engineer out there, has developed dNTPs to be the building blocks of DNA. dNTPs are used in biological processes where many replicates of DNA need to be synthesized, such as cell division. Scientists have taken advantage of dNTPs to develop one of the most powerful methods in biotechnology: PCR. During a PCR reaction, dNTPs are added to a growing DNA strand of interest with the help of a DNA polymerase. As a result, many copies of that specific DNA sequence are synthesized. This method will help the scientist to either detect specific DNA sequences from different specimens or get enough material for subsequent DNA analyses.

- description of dNTPs provided by Solis BioDyne

Like with many other reagents in biotechnology, dNTPs normally have to be stored at –20oC and a longer incubation at room temperature can have detrimental effects on their stability. This is not the case with the dNTPs provided by Solis BioDyne: our dNTPs, and also all other enzymes and master mixes, can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 month without any loss in their qualities. On busy working days, when you plan to run many subsequent PCR reactions, there is no need to rush between the fridge and your bench: keep your reagents on your lab table until your experiments are done.

Solis BioDyne offers dNTPs in two different formats: you can buy them as a set, where every dNTP is supplied in a separate tube or as a ready-made dNTP mix. We also offer dUTPs as a separate product, which is needed if your PCR reaction is combined with UNG treatment.

Choosing the dNTP SET offers you more flexibility if you’re working on an experiment where different concentrations of single dNTPs are needed. Alternatively, you just want to make your own conventional premix with a specific concentration. Using the ready-made dNTP MIX will make your life easier as all dNTPs are already premixed by us.

Solis BioDyne does not supply modified nucleotides, such as ddNTPs, acyNTPs, fluorescently labeled nucleotides, etc., but our TERMIPol® DNA Polymerase and HOT TERMIPol® DNA Polymerase have enhanced efficiency for incorporating unconventional nucleotides to the growing DNA strand during PCR. These DNA polymerases and ddNTPs or acyNTPs can be used as chain terminators in sequencing, while fluorescently labeled nucleotides tag your amplicons with a fluorophore. Labeled amplicons can then be used for in situ hybridization, on microarrays, or blotting techniques.

Grab your nucleotides and other PCR reagents from our e-shop or contact our sales team here: