CTAB enhancement of FRET in DNA structures

Taeseok Oh, Tsukasa Takahashi, Sejung Kim, Michael J. Heller

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The effect of cetyl-trimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) on enhancing the fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) between two dye-conjugated DNA strands was studied using fluorescence emission spectroscopy and dynamic light scattering (DLS). For hybridized DNA where one strand is conjugated with a TAMRA donor and the other with a TexasRed acceptor, increasing the concentration of CTAB changes the fluorescence emission properties and improves the FRET transfer efficiency through changes in the polarity of the solvent, neutralization of the DNA backbone and micelle formation. For the DNA FRET system without CTAB, the DNA hybridization leads to contact quenching between TAMRA donor and TexasRed acceptor producing reduced donor emission and only a small increase in acceptor emission. At 50 μM CTAB, however, the sheathing and neutralization of the dye-conjugated dsDNA structure significantly reduces quenching by DNA bases and dye interactions, producing a large increase in FRET efficiency, which is almost four fold higher than without CTAB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-54
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biophotonics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • CTAB
  • DNA
  • FRET
  • TexasRed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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