DNA-templated Au nanoclusters coupled with proximity-dependent hybridization and guanine-rich DNA induced quenching: a sensitive fluorescent biosensing platform for DNA detection
In this paper, the fluorescence signal of poly(A) DNA-templated Au nanoclusters (AuNCs) is found to be greatly quenched by photoinduced electron transfer (PET) when they are close to guanine (G)-rich DNA. Based on the findings, we have designed a low-cost fluorescence biosensing strategy for the sensitive detection of DNA. Highly luminescent and photo-stable poly(A) DNA-AuNCs were utilized as the fluorescent indicator and G-rich DNA was utilized as the fluorescent quencher. In the absence of target DNA, DNA-AuNCs failed to hybridize with the G-rich DNA and did not form the duplex DNA structure. Strong fluorescence intensity at 475 nm was observed due to the DNA-AuNCs being far away from the G-rich DNA. However, in the presence of target DNA, the DNA-AuNCs together with G-rich DNA could hybridize with the target DNA, leading to the 5′ terminus of the DNA-AuNCs and the 3′ terminus of G-rich DNA being in close proximity and promoting the cooperative hybridization. Therefore, a “Y” junction structure was formed and the G-rich sequences were brought close to the AuNCs. Therefore, the fluorescence intensity of the sensing system decreased significantly. Taking advantage of the poly(A) DNA-templated Au nanoclusters and G-rich DNA proximity-induced quenching, the strategy could be extended to determine other biomolecules by designing appropriate sequences of DNA probes.