Microchimica Acta

, 186:599 | Cite as

An ultrasensitive guanine wire-based resonance light scattering method using G-quadruplex self-assembly for determination of microRNA-122

  • Rong Zou
  • Feng Zhang
  • Chunyan Chen
  • Changqun CaiEmail author
Original Paper


An enzyme-free resonance light scattering (RLS) method is described for the determination of microRNA-122. A guanine nanowire (G-wire) is used that consists of a predesigned DNA1 and a G-quadruplex sequence DNA2. These hybridize with microRNA-122 and partially hybridize with DNA2. After formation of stable double strands with DNA1, DNA2 is released. On addition of K+ and Mg2+ ions, the G-quadruplex sequences undergo self-assembly to form long filamentous G-wires. This increases the intensity of RLS. A 6.1 pM detection limit was obtained, and the linear response covers the 50 pM to 300 nM microRNA concentration range. The method was successfully applied to the quantitation of microRNA-122 in hepatocellular carcinoma cell lysates. Conceivably, this assay can be extended to other RLS methods for biomarker detection by simply changing the sequence of DNA1.

Graphical abstract

The G-quadruplex sequences of DNA2 were locked with DNA1. The G-quadruplex fragments of DNA2 were released after the hybridization of microRNA-122 with DNA1. These liberated G-quadruplex sequences were self-assembled into long filamentous guanine nanowires (G-wires) which increased resonance light intensity in the presence of Mg2+.


G-wire Label-free Enzyme-free Cell lysates 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21775132), Scientific Research Foundation of Hunan Provincial Education Department (No. 16A204), and the National Natural Science Foundation of Hunan province (No.2018JJ2388). Hunan 2011 Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemical Engineering & Technology with Environmental Benignity and Effective Resource Utilization, the project of innovation team of the ministry of education (IRT_17R90), and “1515”academic leader team program of Hunan Agricultural University.

Compliance with ethical standards

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

Supplementary material

604_2019_3707_MOESM1_ESM.doc (22.5 mb)
ESM 1 (DOC 23037 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rong Zou
    • 1
  • Feng Zhang
    • 2
  • Chunyan Chen
    • 1
  • Changqun Cai
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory for Green Organic Synthesis and Application of Hunan Province, Key Laboratory of Environmentally Friendly Chemistry and Application of Ministry of Education, College of ChemistryXiangtan UniversityXiangtanChina
  2. 2.College of ScienceHunan Agricultural UniversityChangshaChina

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