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Anal Chim Acta. 2013 Oct 3;797:95-101. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2013.08.023. Epub 2013 Aug 23.

Cyclically amplified fluorescent detection of theophylline and thiamine pyrophosphate by coupling self-cleaving RNA ribozyme with endonuclease.

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  • 1Key Laboratory of Biochemical Analysis, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Linyi University, Linyi 276005, PR China. Electronic address:


A structure-switching-based approach for the design of fluorescent biosensors from known RNA aptazymes were demonstrated for the detection of theophylline and thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP). Taking advantages of the ability of graphene oxide (GO) to protect ssDNA from nuclease cleavage and the cyclic amplification induced by deoxyribonuclease I (DNase I), the amplified assay showed high sensitivity. In the presence of target, the target-dependent hammerhead aptazyme cleaves off. The released Shine-Dalgarno (SD) sequence was introduced into the detection system, in which a FAM labeled probe ssDNA was noncovalently assembled on GO, and the fluorescence of the dye was completely quenched. In the presence of the released sequence, the binding between the dye-labeled DNA and the SD sequence alter the conformation of dye-labeled DNA, and disturb the interaction between the dye-labeled DNA and GO, liberating dye-labeled DNA from GO. The fluorescent intensity was increased, whereupon the DNase I can cleave the free DNA in the DNA/RNA complex, thereby liberating the fluorophore and ultimately releasing the SD RNA sequence. The released SD RNA sequence then binds another DNA probe, and the cycle starts anew, which leads to significant amplification of the fluorescent signal. The strategy showed good sensitivity and the dynamic ranges were of 0.1-10 μM and 0.5-100 μM for theophylline and TPP, respectively. The approach opens up a wide range of possibilities for sensing of other small molecules in biological entities.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Cyclic amplification; Graphene oxide; RNA ribozyme; Theophylline; Thiamine pyrophosphate

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