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Issue 6, 2019
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An enzyme-free molecular catalytic device: dynamically self-assembled DNA dendrimers for in situ imaging of microRNAs in live cells

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Abstract

DNA has become a promising material to construct high-order structures and molecular devices owing to its sequence programmability. Herein, a DNA machine based on branched catalytic hairpin assembly (bCHA) is introduced for dynamic self-assembly of DNA dendrimers. For this system, a Y-shaped hairpin trimer tethered with three kinds of hairpins (H1, H2 and H3) is constructed. The introduction of an initiator (I) triggers a cascade of CHA reactions among hairpin trimers, leading to the formation of DNA dendrimers. Through labeling fluorophore/quencher pairs in the hairpin trimers, this catalytic DNA machine is applied as a versatile amplification platform to analyze nucleic acids using microRNA-155 (miR-155) as a model analyte. Benefiting from the “diffusion effect”, the proposed bCHA achieves a greatly improved sensitivity in comparison with traditional CHA. This catalytic amplifier exhibits high sensitivity toward miR-155 detection with a dynamic range from 2.5 nM to 500 nM and demonstrates excellent selectivity to distinguish the single-base mismatched sequence from the perfectly complementary one, which is further applied to detect low-abundance miR-155 spiked in complex matrices with minimal interference. This method is further applied for in situ imaging of miR-155 in different live cells. The bCHA reaction can be specifically triggered by intracellular miR-155, achieving monitoring of the dynamic miRNA expression and distribution. Overall, our proposed enzyme-free dynamic DNA self-assembly strategy provides a versatile approach for the development of DNA nanotechnology in biosensing and bioimaging, and monitoring the cellular miRNA-related biological events.

Graphical abstract: An enzyme-free molecular catalytic device: dynamically self-assembled DNA dendrimers for in situ imaging of microRNAs in live cells

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Publication details

The article was received on 25 Oct 2018, accepted on 02 Dec 2018 and first published on 04 Dec 2018


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C8SC04756A
Chem. Sci., 2019,10, 1651-1658
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
    All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

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    An enzyme-free molecular catalytic device: dynamically self-assembled DNA dendrimers for in situ imaging of microRNAs in live cells

    S. Yue, X. Song, W. Song and S. Bi, Chem. Sci., 2019, 10, 1651
    DOI: 10.1039/C8SC04756A

    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material and it is not used for commercial purposes.

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      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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