Label-Free Fluorescent Detection of Trypsin Activity Based on DNA-Stabilized Silver Nanocluster-Peptide Conjugates.
ABSTRACT: Trypsin is important during the regulation of pancreatic exocrine function. The detection of trypsin activity is currently limited because of the need for the substrate to be labeled with a fluorescent tag. A label-free fluorescent method has been developed to monitor trypsin activity. The designed peptide probe consists of six arginine molecules and a cysteine terminus and can be conjugated to DNA-stabilized silver nanoclusters (DNA-AgNCs) by Ag-S bonding to enhance fluorescence. The peptide probe can also be adsorbed to the surface of graphene oxide (GO), thus resulting in the fluorescence quenching of DNA-AgNCs-peptide conjugate because of Förster resonance energy transfer. Once trypsin had degraded the peptide probe into amino acid residues, the DNA-AgNCs were released from the surface of GO, and the enhanced fluorescence of DNA-AgNCs was restored. Trypsin can be determined with a linear range of 0.0-50.0 ng/mL with a concentration as low as 1 ng/mL. This label-free method is simple and sensitive and has been successfully used for the determination of trypsin in serum. The method can also be modified to detect other proteases.
Project description:A novel DNA-stabilized silver nanoclusters (AgNCs)-based label-free fluorescent platform for simultaneously detecting two human immunodeficiency virus oligonucleotides (HIV DNAs) was developed. The sensing platform was established based on fluorescence enhancement of guanine (G)-rich and the phenomenon in the process of two silver nanoclusters (AgNCs) forming a nanoclusters dimer. The probe (AgNCs/G) utilized for HIV-1 detection adopted an effective conformation based on enhancement effect of G-rich sequence (at 500 nm ex / 565 nm em) while the probe (AgNCs/AgNCs) for HIV-2 generated fluorescence signals (at 580 nm ex / 630 nm em) with bright fluorescence only in nanoclusters dimer. The nanoprobe shows high selectivity for multiplexed analysis of target DNA with a detection limit of 11 pM, respectively. Moreover, this is the first time to use the affectivity of fluorescent AgNCs and two HIV DNAs simultaneous detection integrated into a novel method, which shows a great promise in biomedical research and early clinical diagnosis.
Project description:By employing DNAzyme as a recognition group and amplifier, and DNA-stabilized silver nanoclusters (DNA/AgNCs) as signal reporters, we reported for the first time a label-free catalytic and molecular beacon as an amplified biosensing platform for highly selective detection of cofactors such as Pb(2+) and L-histidine.
Project description:Staphylococcal enterotoxin A (SEA) is a worldwide public health problem accounting for the majority of food poisoning which is produced by Staphylococcus aureus, threatening human health and leading to various foodborne diseases. Therefore, it is of great significance to develop a sensitive detection method for SEA to ensure food safety and prevent foodborne diseases in humans. In this study, an adaptive fluorescence biosensor for the detection of staphylococcal enterotoxin A (SEA) was designed and developed by combining DNA silver nanoclusters (DNA-AgNCs) with polypyrrole nanoparticles (PPyNPs). Fluorescent AgNCs, synthesized using aptamers as templates, were used as fluorescence probes, whose fluorescence was quenched by PPyNPs. In the presence of the target SEA, DNA-AgNCs were forced to desorb from the surface of PPyNPs through the binding of SEA with the aptamer-DNA-AgNCs, thereby resulting in fluorescence recovery. Under the optimized conditions, the relative fluorescence intensity (FI) showed a linear relationship with the SEA concentration in the range from 0.5 to 1000 ng/mL (Y = 1.4917X + 0.9100, R2 = 0.9948) with a limit of detection (LOD) of 0.3393 ng/mL. The sensor was successfully used to evaluate the content of SEA in milk samples, and the recovery efficiency of SEA was between 87.70% and 94.65%. Thus, the sensor shows great potential for application in food analysis. In short, the proposed platform consisted of an aptamer fluorescent sensor that can be used for the ultrasensitive detection of various toxins by taking advantage of the excellent affinity and specificity of corresponding aptamers.
Project description:The integration of multiple DNA logic gates on a universal platform to implement advance logic functions is a critical challenge for DNA computing. Herein, a straightforward and powerful strategy in which a guanine-rich DNA sequence lighting up a silver nanocluster and fluorophore was developed to construct a library of logic gates on a simple DNA-templated silver nanoclusters (DNA-AgNCs) platform. This library included basic logic gates, YES, AND, OR, INHIBIT, and XOR, which were further integrated into complex logic circuits to implement diverse advanced arithmetic/non-arithmetic functions including half-adder, half-subtractor, multiplexer, and demultiplexer. Under UV irradiation, all the logic functions could be instantly visualized, confirming an excellent repeatability. The logic operations were entirely based on DNA hybridization in an enzyme-free and label-free condition, avoiding waste accumulation and reducing cost consumption. Interestingly, a DNA-AgNCs-based multiplexer was, for the first time, used as an intelligent biosensor to identify pathogenic genes, E. coli and S. aureus genes, with a high sensitivity. The investigation provides a prototype for the wireless integration of multiple devices on even the simplest single-strand DNA platform to perform diverse complex functions in a straightforward and cost-effective way.
Project description:DNA-encapsulated Silver Nanoclusters (DNA/AgNCs) based sensors have gained increasing attention in past years due to their diverse applications in bioimaging, biosensing, and enzymatic assays. Given the potential of DNA/AgNCs for practical applications, the systematic studies of the fluorescent stability over an extended period is necessary. However, the correlation between nucleic acid properties and the long-term stability of DNA/AgNCs is less known. With locking-to-unlocking sensors, in which the secondary structure of DNA template is standardized, we investigated the correlation between the DNA structure and the fluorescence stability of AgNCs. Post-synthesis of DNA/AgNCs, the fluorescence, and structures of templates were monitored over three weeks. By combining the fluorescence spectroscopy with the in-gel fluorescent assay, we found that AgNCs encapsulated by dimer-structured DNA/AgNCs templates were more stable than those of hairpin-structured DNA/AgNCs templates. While the orange fluorescence from the dimer templates increased over three weeks, the red fluorescence from the hairpin templates was diminished by >80% within two days at room temperature. Further tests revealed that hairpin-encapsulated red-emissive AgNCs is more sensitive to oxidation by atmospheric oxygen compared to dimer encapsulated orange AgNCs. Our observations may provide an important clue in encapsulating photophysically more stable AgNCs by tuning the DNA secondary structures. The proposed strategy here can be essential for pragmatic applications of DNA/AgNCs templates.
Project description:Multiplex miRNA analysis is a fundamental issue for exploring a complex biological system and early diagnosis of miRNA-related diseases. Herein, we have developed a series of novel logic gates for miRNA analysis coupling DNA nanostructures and chameleon silver nanoclusters (AgNCs). DNA dumbbell structures are firstly designed with two independent nucleation sequences for AgNCs at the 5' and 3' ends, respectively. By introducing different miRNA inputs, separations of two AgNCs are controlled and the fluorescence property of AgNCs changes. By studying the ratiometric fluorescence responses, sensitive and selective analysis of multiple miRNAs can be achieved. The present work provides powerful tools for miRNA diagnostics and may also guide future DNA nanostructure-based logic gates.
Project description:A single-stranded DNA-based (ssDNA) dyad was constructed comprising 15 silver atoms stabilized by a ssDNA scaffold (DNA-AgNC) and an Alexa 546 fluorophore bound to the 5' end. The Alexa 546 was chosen to function as a Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) donor for the AgNC. Time-correlated single photon counting (TCSPC) experiments allowed unraveling the excited-state relaxation processes of the purified DNA-AgNC-only system. The TCSPC results revealed slow relaxation dynamics and a red shift of the emission spectrum during the excited-state lifetime. The results from the model systems were needed to understand the more complicated decay pathways present in the collected high-performance liquid chromatography fraction, which contained the dyad (37% of the emissive population). In the dyad system, the FRET efficiency between donor and acceptor was determined to be 94% using TCSPC, yielding a center-to-center distance of 4.6 nm. To date, only limited structural information on DNA-AgNCs is available and the use of TCSPC and FRET can provide information on the center-to-center distance between chromophores and provide positional information in nanostructures composed of AgNCs.
Project description:Herein, the conformational switch of G-rich oligonucleotide (GDNA) demonstrated the obvious functional switch of GDNA which was found to significantly affect the fluorescence of the in-situ synthesized DNA/silver nanocluster (DNA-AgNC) in homogeneous solution. We envisioned that the allosteric interaction between GDNA and DNA-AgNC would be possible to be used for screening telomere-binding ligands. A unimolecular probe (12C5TG) is ingeniously designed consisting of three contiguous DNA elements: G-rich telomeric DNA (GDNA) as molecular recognition sequence, T-rich DNA as linker and C-rich DNA as template of DNA-AgNC. The quantum yield and stability of 12C5TG-AgNC is greatly improved because the nearby deoxyguanosines tended to protect DNA/AgNC against oxidation. However, in the presence of ligands, the formation of G-quadruplex obviously quenched the fluorescence of DNA-AgNC. By taking full advantage of intramolecular allosteric effect, telomere-binding ligands were selectively and label-free screened by using deoxyguanines and G-quadruplex as natural fluorescence enhancer and quencher of DNA-AgNC respectively. Therefore, the functional switching of G-rich structure offers a cost-effective, facile and reliable way to screen drugs, which holds a great potential in bioanalysis as well.
Project description:Silver has a long history of antibacterial effectiveness. The combination of atomically precise metal nanoclusters with the field of nucleic acid nanotechnology has given rise to DNA-templated silver nanoclusters (DNA-AgNCs) which can be engineered with reproducible and unique fluorescent properties and antibacterial activity. Furthermore, cytosine-rich single-stranded DNA oligonucleotides designed to fold into hairpin structures improve the stability of AgNCs and additionally modulate their antibacterial properties and the quality of observed fluorescent signals. In this work, we characterize the sequence-specific fluorescence and composition of four representative DNA-AgNCs, compare their corresponding antibacterial effectiveness at different pH, and assess cytotoxicity to several mammalian cell lines.
Project description:Hybrid graphene oxide/silver nanocubes (GO/AgNCs) arrays for surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) applications were prepared by means of two procedures differing for the method used in the assembly of the silver nanocubes onto the surface: Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) transfer and direct sequential physisorption of silver nanocubes (AgNCs). Adsorption of graphene oxide (GO) flakes on the AgNC assemblies obtained with both procedures was monitored by quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) technique as a function of GO bulk concentration. The experiment provided values of the adsorbed GO mass on the AgNC array and the GO saturation limit as well as the thickness and the viscoelastic properties of the GO film. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) measurements of the resulting samples revealed that a similar surface coverage was achieved with both procedures but with a different distribution of silver nanoparticles. In the GO covered LB film, the AgNC distribution is characterized by densely packed regions alternating with empty surface areas. On the other hand, AgNCs are more homogeneously dispersed over the entire sensor surface when the nanocubes spontaneously adsorb from solution. In this case, the assembly results in less-packed silver nanostructures with higher inter-cube distance. For the two assembled substrates, AFM of silver nanocubes layers fully covered with GO revealed the presence of a homogeneous, flexible and smooth GO sheet folding over the silver nanocubes and extending onto the bare surface. Preliminary SERS experiments on adenine showed a higher SERS enhancement factor for GO on Langmuir-Blodgett films of AgNCs with respect to bare AgNC systems. Conversely, poor SERS enhancement for adenine resulted for GO-covered AgNCs obtained by spontaneous adsorption. This indicated that the assembly and packing of AgNCs obtained in this way, although more homogeneous over the substrate surface, is not as effective for SERS analysis.