Simultaneous imaging of cancer biomarkers in live cells based on DNA-engineered exosomes†
Cancer biomarkers are directly related to the development of cancers. Noninvasive identification of the location and expression levels of these biomarkers in live cancer cells offers great potential for accurate early-stage cancer diagnosis and cancer metastasis monitoring. Herein, we propose a DNA-engineered exosome (DNA-Exo) nanoplatform to image dual cancer biomarkers at the single-cell level, in which DNA probes were modified with the cholesterol group to facilely anchor on the exosomal membrane through hydrophobic interaction. Fluorophore-labeled DNA aptamer and hairpin probes targeting two kinds of cancer biomarkers of transmembrane glycoprotein mucin 1 (MUC1) and cytoplasmic microRNA-21 (miR-21), respectively, were employed for convenient dual-fluorescence imaging of cancer cells. The cellular uptake of DNA-Exos induced the specific recognition of MUC1 and miR-21, allowing the acquisition of the expression levels and spatial distributions of these two biomarkers in three tested cell lines. Our work demonstrated that the proposed DNA-Exos with designable functions have the capacity to visually discriminate different cell types based on the specific recognition of analytes.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Analyst Recent HOT articles