Telomere Science Library

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about the Nobel-Prize Winning Science of Telomere Biology

Visual detection of telomerase activity with a tunable dynamic range by using a gold nanoparticle probe-based hybridization protection strategy.

Authors: Jiasi J. Wang, Li L. Wu, Jinsong J. Ren, Xiaogang X. Qu
Published: 01/17/2014, Nanoscale


We developed a novel telomere complementary (TC) oligonucleotide modified AuNP probe (TC-AuNPs) for colorimetric analysis of telomerase activity. The mechanism of this method is that the telomerase reaction products (TRP), which can hybridize with the TC-AuNPs, are able to protect the AuNPs from the aggregation induced by salt. It is demonstrated that the colorimetric method enabled the analysis of the telomerase activity in 1000 HeLa cells with the naked eye, and down to 100 HeLa cells with the aid of UV-Vis spectroscopy. This strategy is not only convenient and sensitive, but also has a tunable dynamic range. The platform is also applicable for the initial screening of a telomerase inhibitor to discover new anticancer drugs.

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