A PCR-derived digoxigenin-labeled DNA probe was used for for Epstein-Barr early RNA (EBER) in situ hybridization in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues. The results showed that the hybridization signal was morphologically distinct and the intensity of signal was comparable with those by RNA riboprobe. The advantages of using PCR-derived DNA probes for EBER in situ hybridization include: (1) the synthesis of digoxigenin-labeled DNA probes is easy and simple by PCR; (2) the labeled amplification product can be used as a probe without further purification; (3) DNA probes are potentially more stable than RNA probes; and (4) the preparation of DNA probes is relatively efficient and rapid. It is concluded that this technique is an ideal candidate for detection of EBER expression in clinical specimens.
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