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Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry

Multiplex detection of microRNAs by combining molecular beacon probes with T7 exonuclease-assisted cyclic amplification reaction.


PMID 27815611

Abstract

A simple, highly sensitive, and specific assay was developed for the homogeneous and multiplex detection of microRNAs (miRNAs) by combining molecular beacon (MB) probes and T7 exonuclease-assisted cyclic amplification. An MB probe with five base pairs in the stem region without special modification can effectively prevent the digestion by T7 exonuclease. Only in the presence of target miRNA is the MB probe hybridized with the target miRNA, and then digested by T7 exonuclease in the 5' to 3' direction. At the same time, the target miRNA is released and subsequently initiates the nuclease-assisted cyclic digestion process, generating enhanced fluorescence signal significantly. The results show that the combination of T7 exonuclease-assisted cyclic amplification reaction and MB probe possesses higher sensitivity for miRNA detection. Moreover, multiplex detection of miRNAs was successfully achieved by designing two MB probes labeled with FAM and Cy3, respectively. As a result, the method opens a new pathway for the sensitive and multiplex detection of miRNAs as well as clinical diagnosis. Graphical Abstract A simple, highly sensitive, and specific assay was developed for the detection of microRNAs by combining molecular beacon probes with T7 exonuclease-assisted cyclic amplification reaction.

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