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Open AccessArticle

Quantum Dot-Based Molecular Beacon to Monitor Intracellular MicroRNAs

Institute for Bio-Medical Convergence, College of Medicine, Kwandong Catholic University, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do 270-701, Korea
Catholic Kwandong University International St. Mary's Hospital, Incheon Metropolitan City 404-834, Korea
Aljeraisy DNA Research Chair, Department of Zoology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
Department of Nucleic Acids Research, Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Research Institute, City for Scientific Research and Technological Applications, Alexandria 21934, Egypt
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;
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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