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A Target-Lighted dsDNA-Indicator for High-Performance Monitoring of Mercury Pollution and Its Antagonists Screening

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journal contribution
posted on 25.09.2017, 00:00 by Zhihe Qing, Lixuan Zhu, Xiaoxuan Li, Sheng Yang, Zhen Zou, Jingru Guo, Zhong Cao, Ronghua Yang
As well-known, the excessive discharge of heavy-metal mercury not only destroys the ecological environment, bust also leads to severe damage of human health after ingestion via drinking and bioaccumulation of food chains, and mercury ion (Hg2+) is designated as one of most prevalent toxic metal ions in drinking water. Thus, the high-performance monitoring of mercury pollution is necessary. Functional nucleic acids have been widely used as recognition probes in biochemical sensing. In this work, a carbazole derivative, ethyl-4-[3,6-bis­(1-methyl-4-vinylpyridium iodine)-9H-carbazol −9-yl)] butanoate (EBCB), has been synthesized and found as a target-lighted DNA fluorescent indicator. As a proof-of-concept, Hg2+ detection was carried out based on EBCB and Hg2+-mediated conformation transformation of a designed DNA probe. By comparison with conventional nucleic acid indicators, EBCB held excellent advantages, such as minimal background interference and maximal sensitivity. Outstanding detection capabilities were displayed, especially including simple operation (add-and-read manner), ultrarapidity (30 s), and low detection limit (0.82 nM). Furthermore, based on these advantages, the potential for high-performance screening of mercury antagonists was also demonstrated by the fluorescence change of EBCB. Therefore, we believe that this work is meaningful in pollution monitoring, environment restoration and emergency treatment, and may pave a way to apply EBCB as an ideal signal transducer for development of high-performance sensing strategies.