Studies on the interactions of Ag(i) with DNA and their implication on the DNA-templated synthesis of silver nanoclusters and on the interaction with complementary DNA and RNA sequences†
Silver nanoclusters (AgNCs) prepared by the reduction of silver ions in the presence of DNA oligonucleotides have attracted great interest as potential diagnostic tools for their tunable and high fluorescent properties. In this work, three DNA sequences that consist of a 12-nucleotide long probe sequence at the 5′-end linked to the complementary sequence to three miRNAs are studied. First, the interaction of these sequences with Ag(I) was characterized by means of circular dichroism spectroscopy. By applying multivariate methods to the analysis of spectroscopic data, two complexes with different Ag(I) : DNA ratios were resolved. Secondly, the impact of several experimental variables, such as temperature, borohydride concentration and reaction time, on the formation of AgNCs templated by these three sequences was studied. Finally, the fluorescence properties of the duplexes formed by DNA probes with complementary DNA or miRNA sequences were studied. The results presented here highlight the role of the secondary structure adopted by the DNA probe on the fluorescence properties of DNA-stabilized AgNCs which, in turn, affect the development of methods for miRNA detection.