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Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering Based in Situ Hybridization Strategy for Telomere Length Assessment.

Authors: Shenfei S. Zong, Chen C. Chen, Zhuyuan Z. Wang, Yizhi Y. Zhang, Yiping Y. Cui
Published: 01/28/2016, ACS nano


Assessing telomere length is of vital importance since telomere length is closely related with several fatal diseases such as atherosclerosis and cancer. Here, we present a strategy to assess/measure telomere length, that is, surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) based in situ hybridization (SISH). The SISH method uses two kinds of SERS nanoprobes to hybridize in situ with telomeres and centromeres, respectively. The telomere specific SERS nanoprobe is called the Telo-probe, while the centromere specific SERS nanoprobe is called the Centro-probe. They are composed of metal nanoparticles (NPs), Raman reporter molecules and specially designed DNA strands. With longer telomeres, more Telo-probes will hybridize with them, resulting in a stronger SERS signal. To exclude possible influence of the SERS intensity by external factors (such as the nanoprobe concentration, the cell number or different batches of nanoprobes), centromeres are used as the inner control, which can be recognized by Centro-probes. Telomere length is evaluated using a redefined telomere-to-centromere ratio (T/C ratio). The calculation method for T/C ratio in SISH method is more reliable than that in fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). In addition, unlike FISH method, the SISH method is insensitive to autofluorescence. Moreover, SISH method can be used to analyze single telomeres. These features make SISH an excellent alternative strategy for telomere length measurement.

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