AAT Bioquest

What is the importance of molecular beacons?

Posted August 29, 2023


Molecular beacons have been used to detect genetic mutations, as they can be used for label-less detection of gene sequences relevant to specific disease. MBs have been used as diagnostic tools to genotype cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs disease gene mutations, and Factor V Leiden mutations. They are ideal for reliable detection of hundreds of DNA target sequences in one test run by using a series of beacons, which makes it time-efficient. MBs are also important as they bind specifically to a particular target sequence, and thus allows for selective detection of DNA or RNA molecules. They are able to detect single nucleotide differences in DNA. Each MB is designed to detect a different target and each is labeled with a differently colored fluorophore. MBs can also be used in real time assays such as NASBA, which is highly useful for studying the behavior of nucleotides as they occur. Additionally, MBs are able to provide fluorescence based detection which makes it easy to visualize target molecules.

Additional resources

Molecular Beacons: Powerful Tools for Imaging RNA in Living Cells

Real-Time PCR (qPCR)

Tide Fluor™ 1 acid [TF1 acid] *Superior replacement for EDANS*

Tide Quencher™ 1 acid [TQ1 acid]