Microchimica Acta

, 185:299 | Cite as

Double signal enhancement strategy based on rolling circle amplification and photoinduced electron transfer for ultrasensitive fluorometric detection of methylated DNA

  • Pingdan Yan
  • Yixiong Hao
  • Zhaoche Shu
  • Chunling Gu
  • Xiaomei Zhou
  • Xiaoyu Liu
  • Hua Xiang
Original Paper


The authors describe a novel assay for the detection of methylated DNA site. Rolling circle amplification and CdSe/ZnS quantum dots with high fluorescence efficiency are applied in this method. The CdSe/ZnS quantum dots act as electron donors, and hemin and oxygen (derived from hydrogen peroxide act as acceptors in photoinduced electron transfer. The assay, best performed at excitation/emission peaks of 450/620 nm, is sensitive and specific. Fluorometric response is linear in the 1 pM to 100 nM DNA concentration range, and the lowest detectable concentration of methylated DNA is 142 fM (S/N = 3). The method is capable of recognizing 0.01% methylated DNA in a mixture of methylated/unmethylated DNA.

Graphical abstract

A novel method for methylated sites detection in DNA is established. Rolling circle amplification and photoinduced electron transfer. CdSe/ZnS quantum dots with high fluorescence efficiency act as the electron donor, while G-quadruplex/hemin and hydrogen peroxide derived oxygen act as electron acceptor. It presents a linear response towards 1 pM to 100 nM methylated DNA with a correlation coefficient of 0.9968, and the lowest detectable concentration of methylated DNA was 142 fM, with selectivity significantly superior to other methods.


Quantum dots p16 gene Fluorescence quenching Isothermal amplification G-quadruplex/hemin DNAzyme DNA methylation 



This work was financially supported by the Chongqing Municipal Education Commission science and technology research project Foundation of China (KJ1400211).

Compliance with ethical standards

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

Supplementary material

604_2018_2839_MOESM1_ESM.docx (295 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 295 kb)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pingdan Yan
    • 1
  • Yixiong Hao
    • 1
  • Zhaoche Shu
    • 1
  • Chunling Gu
    • 1
  • Xiaomei Zhou
    • 1
  • Xiaoyu Liu
    • 1
  • Hua Xiang
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Laboratory Medical Diagnostics, Chinese Ministry of Education, Department of Laboratory MedicineChongqing Medical UniversityChongqingPeople’s Republic of China

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