Portable glucose meter-utilized label-free and washing-free telomerase assay†
We herein describe a portable glucose meter (PGM)-utilized label-free and washing-free method for the facile determination of telomerase activity that relies on the kinase-catalyzed cascade enzymatic reaction (KCER) that transduces the telomerase activity to the glucose level. In the sensor, the telomerase that elongates telomere sequences ((TTAGGG)n) from the 3′-terminus of telomerase substrate primer (TSP) consumes deoxynucleoside triphosphate (dNTP), which serves as a phosphate source for KCER promoted by hexokinase and pyruvate kinase. Thus, the presence of telomerase protects KCER from working effectively, resulting in the maintenance of an initial, high glucose level that is readily determined using hand-held PGM. With this strategy, the telomerase activities in various types of cell lines were successfully determined with high sensitivity. Furthermore, the ability of this method to screen candidate inhibitors for telomerase activity was also verified.