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Issue 23, 2018
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DNA-templated silver nanoclusters locate microRNAs in the nuclei of gastric cancer cells

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Abstract

Dysregulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) is correlated with cancer progression. In vitro detection methods using extracts from cell lysis cannot provide information about the spatial distribution of miRNAs. Due to the development of miRNA fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), increasing amounts of intracellular expression information are being obtained. However, miRNA FISH suffers from weak signals and complex steps and thus remains very challenging. Herein, a strategy based on DNA-templated silver nanoclusters (AgNCs/DNAs) and their G-rich fluorescence enhancement effect was developed for FISH detection of miRNAs in gastric cancer cells. The method combines hybridization and signal amplification into one step, which allows imaging of intracellular miRNAs immediately after hybridization. Most importantly, using the method based on our design, miR-101-3p, miR-16-5p and miR-19b-3p were found to be located in the nuclei of MGC803 cells with granulated shapes, indicating an unanticipated distribution pattern. In addition, before the final miRNA FISH, we performed an optimization of AgNCs/DNAs and their G-rich fluorescence enhancement effect; we found that the effect occurred at shorter wavelengths emitting green fluorescence, with weakened red fluorescence at longer wavelengths. However, the components involved in the FISH process impacted the fluorescence properties so greatly that the probes finally exhibited slightly strengthened red fluorescence signals. Our method enables facile visualization of miRNAs at the subcellular level, which may benefit the precise localization of miRNAs in single cells in the future.

Graphical abstract: DNA-templated silver nanoclusters locate microRNAs in the nuclei of gastric cancer cells

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Publication details

The article was received on 01 Apr 2018, accepted on 22 May 2018 and first published on 23 May 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8NR02634C
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018,10, 11079-11090
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    DNA-templated silver nanoclusters locate microRNAs in the nuclei of gastric cancer cells

    J. Zhang, Y. Liu, X. Zhi, C. Zhang, T. F. Liu and D. Cui, Nanoscale, 2018, 10, 11079
    DOI: 10.1039/C8NR02634C

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