Synthesis of MUC1 aptamer-stabilized gold nanoclusters for cell-specific imaging.

Author(s) Feng, B.; Xing, Y.; Lan, J.; Su, Z.; Wang, F.
Journal Talanta
Date Published 2020 May 15

Targeted imaging of cancer cells is crucial for early diagnosis. Mucin is a transmembrane protein that is overexpressed by cancer cells and is considered a cancer target. Specific recognition of mucin by aptamers has been receiving increasing attention in recent years. In this study, we use DNA MUC1 aptamer as a protective agent and target molecule in the synthesis of ultra-small fluorescent gold nanoclusters (MUC1-AuNCs) via a simple one-step method. MUC1-AuNCs exhibited red fluorescence emission with excellent stability over a wide pH range and under strong illumination. Confocal images showed that the synthesized MUC1-AuNCs efficiently targeted mucin overexpressing 4T1 cancer cells, but were not observed in 293T normal cells. Furthermore, the MUC1-AuNCs had a 5667 ns lifetime and 235 nm Stokes shifts and markedly eliminated background interference, suggesting they are a promising fluorescent probe for cell-targeted labeling and imaging.

DOI 10.1016/j.talanta.2020.120796
ISSN 1873-3573
Citation Talanta. 2020;212:120796.

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