Author(s): Wang Y, Zheng D, Tan Q, Wang MX, Gu LQ
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Abstract MicroRNAs are short RNA molecules that regulate gene expression, and have been investigated as potential biomarkers because their expression levels are correlated with various diseases. However, detecting microRNAs in the bloodstream remains difficult because current methods are not sufficiently selective or sensitive. Here, we show that a nanopore sensor based on the α-haemolysin protein can selectively detect microRNAs at the single molecular level in plasma samples from lung cancer patients without the need for labels or amplification of the microRNA. The sensor, which uses a programmable oligonucleotide probe to generate a target-specific signature signal, can quantify subpicomolar levels of cancer-associated microRNAs and can distinguish single-nucleotide differences between microRNA family members. This approach is potentially useful for quantitative microRNA detection, the discovery of disease markers and non-invasive early diagnosis of cancer.
This article was published in Nat Nanotechnol
and referenced in Metabolomics:Open Access