Low abundance, small size, and sequence similarities render microRNA (miRNAs) detection challenging, particularly in real samples, where quantifying weakly expressed miRNAs can be arduous due to interference of more abundant molecules. The standard quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) requires multiple steps, thermal cycles, and costly enzymatic reactions that can negatively affect results. Here we present a direct, precise, enzyme-free assay based on microgels particles conjugating molecular beacons (MB) capable of optically detecting low abundant miRNAs in real samples. We validate the applicability of microgels assay using qRT-PCR as a reference technology. As a relevant case, we chose miR-103–3p, a valuable diagnostic biomarker for breast cancer, both in serum samples and MCF7 cells. As a result, microgels assay quantifies miRNA molecules at room temperature in a single step, 1 h (vs. 4 hrs for qRT-PCR) without complementary DNA synthesis, amplification, or expensive reagents. Microgels assay exhibits femtomolar sensitivity, single nucleotide specificity, and a wide linear range (102–107 fM) (wider than qRT-PCR), with low sample consumption (2 μL) and excellent linearity (R2= 0.98). To test the selectivity of the microgel assay in real samples, MCF7 cells were considered where the pool of 8 other miRNAs were further upregulated with respect to miRNA 103–3p. In such complex environments, microgels assay selectively detects the miRNA target, mainly due to MB advanced stability and specificity as well as high microgel antifouling properties. These results show the reliability of microgels assay to detect miRNAs in real samples.

Direct, precise, enzyme-free detection of miR-103?3p in real samples by microgels with highly specific molecular beacons

Battista, E;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Low abundance, small size, and sequence similarities render microRNA (miRNAs) detection challenging, particularly in real samples, where quantifying weakly expressed miRNAs can be arduous due to interference of more abundant molecules. The standard quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) requires multiple steps, thermal cycles, and costly enzymatic reactions that can negatively affect results. Here we present a direct, precise, enzyme-free assay based on microgels particles conjugating molecular beacons (MB) capable of optically detecting low abundant miRNAs in real samples. We validate the applicability of microgels assay using qRT-PCR as a reference technology. As a relevant case, we chose miR-103–3p, a valuable diagnostic biomarker for breast cancer, both in serum samples and MCF7 cells. As a result, microgels assay quantifies miRNA molecules at room temperature in a single step, 1 h (vs. 4 hrs for qRT-PCR) without complementary DNA synthesis, amplification, or expensive reagents. Microgels assay exhibits femtomolar sensitivity, single nucleotide specificity, and a wide linear range (102–107 fM) (wider than qRT-PCR), with low sample consumption (2 μL) and excellent linearity (R2= 0.98). To test the selectivity of the microgel assay in real samples, MCF7 cells were considered where the pool of 8 other miRNAs were further upregulated with respect to miRNA 103–3p. In such complex environments, microgels assay selectively detects the miRNA target, mainly due to MB advanced stability and specificity as well as high microgel antifouling properties. These results show the reliability of microgels assay to detect miRNAs in real samples.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/822533
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