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Sensors 2011, 11(11), 10187-10196; doi:10.3390/s111110187

A Highly Sensitive and Selective Competition Assay for the Detection of Cysteine Using Mercury-Specific DNA, Hg2+ and Sybr Green I

1
School of Chemistry and Material Sciences, Ludong University, Yantai 264025, China
2
Laboratory of Physical Biology, Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201800, China
3
Shanghai Institute of Measurement and Testing Technology, Shanghai 201203, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 September 2011 / Revised: 18 October 2011 / Accepted: 23 October 2011 / Published: 26 October 2011
(This article belongs to the Section Biosensors)
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Abstract

We here report a rapid, sensitive, selective and label-free fluorescence detection method for cysteine (Cys). The conformation of mercury-specific DNA (MSD) changes from a random coil form to a hairpin structure in the presence of Hg2+ due to the formation of a thymine-Hg2+-thymine (T-Hg2+-T) complex. Cys can selectively coordinate with Hg2+ and extract it from the thymine-Hg2+-thymine complex. The hairpin structure dehybridizes and the fluorescence intensity of Sybr Green I (SG) decreases upon addition of Cys because SG efficiently discriminates mercury-specific DNA and mercury-specific DNA/Hg2+ complex. The detection can be finished within 5 min with high sensitivity and selectivity. In addition, we can obtain variable dynamic ranges for Cys by changing the concentration of MSD/Hg2+.
Keywords: cysteine; competition assay; mercury-specific DNA; Hg2+; Sybr Green I cysteine; competition assay; mercury-specific DNA; Hg2+; Sybr Green I
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Xu, H.; Gao, S.; Liu, Q.; Pan, D.; Wang, L.; Ren, S.; Ding, M.; Chen, J.; Liu, G. A Highly Sensitive and Selective Competition Assay for the Detection of Cysteine Using Mercury-Specific DNA, Hg2+ and Sybr Green I. Sensors 2011, 11, 10187-10196.

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