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Ultrasensitive Quantitation of Plasma Membrane Proteins via isRTA

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journal contribution
posted on 20.09.2017, 00:00 by Tao Gao, Bei Wang, Liu Shi, Xiaoli Zhu, Yang Xiang, Jun-ichi Anzai, Genxi Li
Quantitation of plasma membrane proteins (PMPs) is fundamental and frequently performed daily in the lab. However, challenged by the inherent/interacting heterostructures and complex surroundings of the PMPs in lipid membrane, quantitative techniques for PMP often require complex treatments (e.g., labeling, isolation, purification, and determination), and the sensitivity is usually not satisfactory. To address this problem, we have proposed a novel method that enables quantitation of PMPs with extremely high sensitivity, in an easier-to-manipulate and more streamlined way. This method is based on the design of an in situ rolling cycling replication-templated amplification strategy (isRTA). In fact, two rounds of DNA cascade isothermal amplifications have been conducted. The first round of amplification can provide templates for the second round of amplification; thus, significant enhancement of quantitative signals can be achieved. In this way, PMPs are quantified with ultrahigh sensitivity; as few as 25 copies of PMPs can be detected per cell. Moreover, the advantages of isRTA have been demonstrated by simultaneous identification of several PMP biomarkers (MUC1, EpCAM, and HER2) that are expressed over a wide distribution range on breast cancer cells. The precise typing of breast cancer cell subsets is thus possible because of the “quantitative-to-qualitative” strategy. Therefore, the unprecedented sensitivity and high usability of the isRTA method may present significant prospects for delving into membrane proteins and their related biofunctions in many research fields.

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