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Assays & screens

MicroRNA detection with hairpin-mediated quadratic enzymatic amplification (HQEA)

HQEA for miRNAs could enable sensitive detection of disease-associated miRNAs in clinical samples. The method involves hybridizing a molecular beacon probe with the targeted miRNA and then synthesizing an inactive DNA duplex of the probe that is activated by an endonuclease to emit the fluorescent signal. In a proof-of-concept study, a detection assay using HQEA detected miRNA-21 (miR-21) in a 15 microliter sample with a detection limit of
10 femtomolar at 37 °C and 1 attomolar at 4 °C. In cell lysates from patient breast cancer samples or human breast and prostate cancer cell lines, the assay detected miR-21 and miR-221. Next steps include developing gene chips that use HQEA for detecting disease-associated miRNAs.

SciBX 6(10); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.246
Published online March 14, 2013

Patented; unavailable for licensing

Duan, R. et al. J. Am. Chem. Soc.; published online
Feb. 27, 2013;
Contact: Fan Xia, Huazhong University of Science & Technology, Wuhan, China