Microchimica Acta

, 185:549 | Cite as

Voltammetric determination of the Alzheimer’s disease-related ApoE 4 gene from unamplified genomic DNA extracts by ferrocene-capped gold nanoparticles

  • Hanwen Lu
  • Ling Wu
  • Jingrui Wang
  • Zixiao Wang
  • Xinyao YiEmail author
  • Jianxiu Wang
  • Nan WangEmail author
Original Paper


A sensitive method is described for detection of the apoE 4 gene detection which is important for early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. It is based on signal amplification by using ferrocene (Fc) capped gold nanoparticles modified with streptavidin. The immobilized oligonucleotide probe captures complementary apoE 4 gene. This is followed by the specific recognition of the GCGC sequences which are hydrolyzed by the restriction enzyme HhaI. Cleavage only occurs at the complementary apoE 4 duplex, while mismatches prevent enzymatic cleavage. Thus, the apoE 4 sequence can be discriminated against other apoE sequences. Benefitting from amplified signal by Fc-capped nanoparticle/streptavidin and the recognition of HhaI, the detection limit is as low as 0.1 pM of the ApoE 4 gene. Four genomic DNA samples extracted from blood were analyzed for the presence of the apoE 4 gene. The approach presented here will provide viable proof-of-principle for an enzyme-assisted electrochemical assay for the apoE 4 gene in genomic DNAs.

Graphical abstract

Schematic presentation of amplified voltammetric detection of Alzheimer’s Disease-related apoE 4 gene from unamplified genomic DNA extracts via ferrocene capped gold nanoparticle/streptavidin.


ApoE 4 gene Restriction enzyme HhaI Cyclic voltammetry DNA extract Biosensor 



The authors thank the financial support of this work by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 21876208, 21705166, 21575166).

Compliance with ethical standards

The author(s) declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringCentral South UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department oft of Obstetrics and GynecologyThe Third Xiangya Hospital of Central South UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China

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