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Exonuclease III-Powered Self-Propelled DNA Machine for Distinctly Amplified Detection of Nucleic Acid and Protein

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journal contribution
posted on 26.06.2020, 18:12 by Shuang Liu, Xiaoxiao Yu, Jialong Wang, Dengren Liu, Li Wang, Shufeng Liu
Herein, a new exonuclease III (Exo III)-powered self-propelled DNA machine was developed for the cascade multilevel signal amplification of nucleic acid and nucleic acid-related analytes. It could be easily and homogeneously operated with the use of an integral DNA hybrid probe as the recognition, amplification, and signaling element, and the Exo III cleavage as a driving force. The DNA hybrid probe was obtained by annealing two hairpin-like DNAs. The target recognition with the 3′-protruding domain of the DNA hybrid probe triggered Exo III cleavage, accompanied by target recycling and alternate generation of a large amount of target substitute and analogy. Simultaneously, the cascade bidirectional Exo III cleavage toward the DNA hybrid probe by the generated target substitute and analogy contributed for the exponential signal amplification toward target recognition event. It could be also extended for the application in protein detection with the thrombin as a protein example by introducing an additional hairpin-like aptamer switch. The proposed Exo III-powered self-propelled DNA amplification strategy showed a linear detection range for target DNA from 0.5 fM to 1 pM and for thrombin from 5 fM to 10 pM. The low detection limit toward target DNA and thrombin could reach about 0.1 fM and 5 fM, respectively, which were superior to most of reported methods. It also exhibited an excellent selectivity toward target detection. Therefore, the developed sensing system exhibits a new, simple and powerful means for amplified detection of nucleic acid and nucleic acid-related analytes, and may hold great potentials in bioanalysis, disease diagnosis and biomedicine.