Ratiometric analysis of single-molecule Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer using logical combinations of threshold criteria. A study of 12-mer DNA.
Single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) combined with bulk fluorescence lifetimes, anisotropy, and spectra have been used to study a donor-acceptor labeled model DNA system (Cy5-5′- ACCTGCCGACGC-3′-TMR). A general ratiometric analysis method using independent donor and acceptor thresholding has been developed. Use of two logical combinations of thresholding criteria provides more information than either method alone, revealing heterogeneity within this system. Conditions yielding similar bulk fluorescence spectra can be readily distinguished by this single-molecule method. Fluorescence lifetimes and anisotropy measurements also suggest nonnegligible fluorophore-DNA interaction.