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Label-Free Detecting of the Compaction and Decompaction of ctDNA Molecules Induced by Surfactants with SERS Based on a nanoPAA-ZnCl2‑AuLs Solid Substrate

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posted on 2020-01-07, 14:58 authored by Bojuan Hao, Kaige Wang, Yukun Zhou, Chaofan Sui, Lei Wang, Ren Bai, Zhaojin Yang
DNA molecular compaction/decompaction is of great significance for the exploration of basic life processes, the research of biomedical and genetic engineering, and so forth. However, the detailed mechanism of DNA compaction/decompaction caused by surfactants remains an open and challenging problem that has not been fully solved so far. In this paper, a sort of novel solid substrate, nanoPAA-ZnCl2-AuLs, with good stability and high sensitivity, was prepared by a self-assembly method. Based on this substrate, the surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) technology was employed to investigate characteristics of interactions between DNA molecules and surfactants at a single molecular level. SERS spectra of calf thymus DNA (ctDNA), cetyl trimethyl ammonium bromide (CTAB), and sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) with a concentration as low as 10–9 M, and SERS spectra of ctDNA–CTAB and ctDNA–CTAB–SDS composites were collected, respectively. The interactions between ctDNA and surfactants were analyzed by changes in SERS spectra, for example, disappearances and appearances of SERS bands and relative changes of peak intensity, in which CTAB resulted in the compaction of the DNA molecule while SDS induced the decompaction of the ctDNA–CTAB complex. Moreover, UV–visible spectrophotometry was employed to demonstrate the compaction/decompaction of ctDNA molecules caused by surfactants. The local binding modes of ctDNA molecules and surfactant molecules were expounded. This work will be helpful for understanding biological processes such as DNA compaction and recombination within nucleus or/and cells and for the development of gene therapy technologies.

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