DNA methylation plays an important role in many biological events and is associated with various diseases. Most traditional methods for detection of DNA methylation are based on the complex and expensive bisulfite method. In this paper, we report a novel fluorescence method to detect DNA and DNA methylation based on graphene oxide (GO) and restriction endonuclease HpaII. The skillfully designed probe DNA labeled with 5-carboxyfluorescein (FAM) and optimized GO concentration keep the probe/target DNA still adsorbed on the GO. After the cleavage action of HpaII the labeled FAM is released from the GO surface and its fluorescence recovers, which could be used to detect DNA in the linear range of 50 pM-50 nM with a detection limit of 43 pM. DNA methylation induced by transmethylase (Mtase) or other chemical reagents prevents HpaII from recognizing and cleaving the specific site; as a result, fluorescence cannot recover. The fluorescence recovery efficiency is closely related to the DNA methylation level, which can be used to detect DNA methylation by comparing it with the fluorescence in the presence of intact target DNA. The method for detection of DNA and DNA methylation is simple, reliable and accurate.
DNA hairpin structure probes are usually designed by forming intra-molecular duplex based on Watson-Crick hydrogen bonds. In this paper, a molecular beacon based on silver ions-mediated cytosine-Ag(+)-cytosine base pairs was used to detect DNA. The inherent characteristic of the metal ligation facilitated the design of functional probe and the adjustment of its binding strength compared to traditional DNA hairpin structure probes, which make it be used to detect DNA in a simple, rapid and easy way with the help of DNA strands displacement reaction. The method was sensitive and also possesses the good specificity to differentiate the single base mismatched DNA from the complementary DNA. It was also successfully applied to study the damage effect of classic genotoxicity chemicals such as styrene oxide and sodium arsenite on DNA, which was significant in food science, environmental science and pharmaceutical science.
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