Constructing real-time, wash-free, and reiterative sensors for cell surface proteins using binding-induced dynamic DNA assembly
Cell surface proteins are an important class of biomarkers for fundamental biological research and for disease diagnostics and treatment. In this communication, we report a universal strategy to construct sensors that can achieve rapid imaging of cell surface proteins without any separation by using binding-induced dynamic DNA assembly. As a proof-of-principle, we developed a real-time and wash-free sensor for an important breast cancer biomarker, human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2). We then demonstrated that this sensor could be used for imaging and sensing HER2 on both fixed and live breast cancer cells. Additionally, we have also incorporated toehold-mediated DNA strand displacement reactions into the HER2 sensor, which allows for reiterating (switching on/off) fluorescence signals for HER2 from breast cancer cells in real-time.