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As a recently identified higher-order quadruplex (G4) structure, the G4 dimer possesses unique structure and biological functions. In this work, we found accidentally that two tandem PW17 (one known G4-forming DNA) sequences can fold into a stable G4 dimer, and the G4 dimer can enhance dramatically the fluorescence intensity of thioflavin T (ThT). The G4 dimer/ThT fluorescence intensity is about ninefold that of the corresponding G4 monomer/ThT. Meanwhile, compared with the common G4/ThT system, G4 dimer/ThT exhibited more stable fluorescence emission in the media with various concentrations of Na+ and K+. On the basis of these findings, G4 dimer/ThT was used as a fluorescence indicator to construct one arched DNA probe for label-free detection of DNA. By incorporating a G4 dimer sequence in amplified products, we further designed one rolling circle amplification-based biosensing strategy to show the utility of this G4 dimer/ThT fluorescence indicator. This study demonstrates that dimeric G4 is an effective nucleic acid scaffold for lighting up ThT, showing promising applications in a label-free bioassay.


Shaochun Jing, Qiang Liu, Yan Jin, Baoxin Li. Dimeric G-Quadruplex: An Effective Nucleic Acid Scaffold for Lighting Up Thioflavin T. Analytical chemistry. 2021 Jan 26;93(3):1333-1341

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PMID: 33347269

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