A direct fluorescent signal transducer embedded in a DNA aptamer paves the way for versatile metal-ion detection

Vlad-Stefan Raducanu, Fahad Rashid, Manal Zaher, Yanyan Li, Jasmeen Merzaban, Samir Hamdan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Using DNA aptamers as sensors for metal ions provide a variety of applications in biology and industry. Many of these sensors are based on guanine-rich DNA sequences that undergo conformational changes upon metal-ion binding. However, these sensors require an exogenous reporter that can recognize such DNA conformational changes and transduce the signal. Here, we bypass the exogenous reporter by embedding a signal transducer in the guanine-rich DNA aptamer that measures directly the DNA conformational changes upon metal-ion binding. Our signal transducer is an environmentally sensitive Cy3 fluorescent dye that is internally coupled to the DNA aptamer. We demonstrate the applicability of our embedded-signal transducer approach using a known potassium-responding aptamer. We next demonstrate the versatility of this approach by designing an aptamer sensor that can detect potassium ions in the low micro-molar range and with high selectivity against a wide range of ions including sodium. The aptamer accurately measured potassium ions concentration in a variety of aqueous and biological test samples. Our embedded-signal transducer approach will pave the way for the development of aptamer sensors for a variety of ligands.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127376
JournalSensors and Actuators B: Chemical
Volume304
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 7 2019

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