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Open AccessArticle

Quantum Dot-Based Molecular Beacon to Monitor Intracellular MicroRNAs

1
Institute for Bio-Medical Convergence, College of Medicine, Kwandong Catholic University, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do 270-701, Korea
2
Catholic Kwandong University International St. Mary's Hospital, Incheon Metropolitan City 404-834, Korea
3
Aljeraisy DNA Research Chair, Department of Zoology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
4
Department of Nucleic Acids Research, Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Research Institute, City for Scientific Research and Technological Applications, Alexandria 21934, Egypt
5
Department of Zoology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Magnus Willander
Sensors 2015, 15(6), 12872-12883; https://doi.org/10.3390/s150612872
Received: 20 March 2015 / Revised: 26 May 2015 / Accepted: 29 May 2015 / Published: 2 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intracellular Sensing)
Fluorescence monitoring of endogenous microRNA (miRNA or miR) activity related to neuronal development using nano-sized materials provides crucial information on miRNA expression patterns in a noninvasive manner. In this study, we report a new method to monitor intracellular miRNA124a using quantum dot-based molecular beacon (R9-QD-miR124a beacon). The R9-QD-miR124a beacon was constructed using QDs and two probes, miR124a-targeting oligomer and arginine rich cell-penetrating peptide (R9 peptide). The miR124a-targeting oligomer contains a miR124a binging sequence and a black hole quencher 1 (BHQ1). In the absence of target miR124a, the R9-QD-miR124a beacon forms a partial duplex beacon and remained in quenched state because the BHQ1 quenches the fluorescence signal of the R9-QD-miR124a beacon. The binding of miR124a to the miR124a binding sequence of the miR124a-targeting oligomer triggered the separation of the BHQ1 quencher and subsequent signal-on of a red fluorescence signal. Moreover, enhanced cellular uptake was achieved by conjugation with the R9 peptide, which resulted in increased fluorescent signal of the R9-QD-miR124a beacons in P19 cells during neurogenesis due to the endogenous expression of miR124a. View Full-Text
Keywords: quantum dot; microRNA; molecular beacon; neurogenesis quantum dot; microRNA; molecular beacon; neurogenesis
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Lee, J.; Moon, S.U.; Lee, Y.S.; Ali, B.A.; Al-Khedhairy, A.A.; Ali, D.; Ahmed, J.; Al Salem, A.M.; Kim, S. Quantum Dot-Based Molecular Beacon to Monitor Intracellular MicroRNAs. Sensors 2015, 15, 12872-12883.

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