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Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2012 Oct 1;22(19):6081-4. doi: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2012.08.037. Epub 2012 Aug 16.

Molecular beacon-based quantitiation of epithelial tumor marker mucin 1.

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Department of Chemistry and Research Institute for Basic Sciences, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 130-701, South Korea.


Mucin 1 (Muc1) is a glycoprotein expressed on most epithelial cell surfaces, which has been confirmed as a useful biomarker for the diagnosis of early cancers. In this study, we demonstrate that a quantum dot (QD)-aptamer beacon acts by folding-induced dissociation of a DNA intercalating dye, BOBO-3, in the presence of the target molecules, Muc1. Release of intercalated BOBO-3s from the QD-conjugated aptamers results in a decrease in QD fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-mediated BOBO-3 emission, allowing for label-free Muc1 detection and quantitation. We attain highly specific and wide-range detection (from 50nM to 20μM) of Muc1, suggesting that our QD-aptamer beacon can be a potential alternative to immuno-based assays for Muc1 detection. The detection methodology is expected to be improved for the early diagnosis of different types of epithelial cancers of large populations.

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