American Chemical Society
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CRISPR/Cas12a-Mediated Interfacial Cleaving of Hairpin DNA Reporter for Electrochemical Nucleic Acid Sensing

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-02-12, 13:50 authored by Decai Zhang, Yurong Yan, Haiying Que, Tiantian Yang, Xiaoxue Cheng, Shijia Ding, Xiuming Zhang, Wei Cheng
A rapid and sensitive isothermal method is crucial for point-of-care (POC) nucleic acid testing. Recently, RNA-guided CRISPR/Cas12a proteins were discovered to exhibit target-triggered nonspecific single-stranded deoxyribonuclease (ssDNase) activity. Herein, the ssDNase cleavage capacity of the CRISPR/Cas12a system for interfacial hairpin DNA (hpDNA) and linear DNA was investigated in detailed. A novel electrochemical DNA biosensor was then developed via target-induced Cas12a cleaving interfacial hpDNA. In this strategy, the RNA-guided target DNA binding activates the robust Cas12a ssDNase activity. The immobilized hpDNA electrochemical reporters with a low surface coverage and incompact morphological structure present accessible substrates for highly efficient Cas12a cleavage, leading to a highly sensitive electrochemical DNA biosensor. Under the optimal conditions, as low as 30 pM target DNA was detected in about 60 min with 3.5 orders of magnitude dynamic range from 50 pM to 100 nM. Furthermore, the practical application ability of the established sensing method for detecting the target in complex matrices was also demonstrated. The proposed strategy enables rapid and sensitive DNA determination, providing a potential tool for POC molecular diagnostics.