Under appropriate conditions, specific double-stranded DNA product was generated after amplification of genomic DNA sequences in a polymerase chain-like reaction that contained only a single primer. This type of amplification reaction was performed with a variety of primers and substrate DNAs. In addition to nonspecific heterogeneous products, 5 of 11 primers reproducibly directed synthesis of double-stranded DNA that corresponded to the region of the template that contained the authentic primer annealing site. Three of these amplified products were cloned and their ends were sequenced. All three contained a copy of the primer at both 5′ ends, and the position of one of the primers represented the authentic primer binding site. In each case, the location of the second copy of the primer Indicated that it had initially hybridized to a partially homologous sequence In the template DNA. This single primer reaction makes it possible to amplify and clone a DNA region of unknown sequence that Is adjacent to a known DNA sequence. One of the single primer reaction products described here included sequence to the 5′ side of the coding region of a serotonin receptor gene that contained a functional promoter.
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