NanoCluster Beacon - A New Molecular Probe for Homogeneous Detection of Nucleic Acid Targets
LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LAB NM
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Oligonucleotide-templated nanoclusters consisting of a few atoms of silver DNAAg NCs have been made into a new molecular probe that lights up upon target DNA binding, termed a NanoCluster Beacon NCB. We discovered that interactions between silver nanoclusters and a proximal, guaninerich DNA strand can lead to tremendous red fluorescence enhancement 1. Here we show that dark silver nanoclusters templated on an ssDNA can be lit up into a palette of colors green, yelloworange, and red by employing different proximal sequences, potentially enabling the use of NCBs in multiplexed assays. We tested a suite of nanocluster-nucleation sequences and found the sequences that created strong red fluorescence enhancement share a common 5 -C3NNNNNC4 motif, where N is either a thymine T or an adenine A base. We optimized the design of NCBs by testing the effect of different lengths of an interaction stem. The highest signal-to-background SB ratio, 175, was achieved when the stem length was 3 base pairs long.
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