An CuInS2 photocathode for the sensitive photoelectrochemical determination of microRNA-21 based on DNA–protein interaction and exonuclease III assisted target recycling amplification


A photocathode is described for the determination of microRNA-21 by using CuInS2 as an active photocathode material. Exonuclease III assisted target recycling amplification was employed to enhance the detection sensitivity. The TATA-binding protein (TBP) was applied to enhance steric hindrance which decreases the photoelectrochemical intensity. This strategy is designed by combining the anti-interference photocathode material, enzyme assisted target recycling amplification and TBP induced signal off, showing remarkable amplification efficiency. Under the optimized conditions, the detection limit for microRNA-21 is as low as 0.47 fM, and a linear range was got from 1.0 × 10−15 M to 1.0 × 10−6 M.

Schematic representation of sensitive photoelectrochemical detection of microRNA-21.CuInS2 is used as an active photocathode material. Combined Exonuclease III assisted target recycling amplification and TATA-binding protein decreased of photoelectrochemical intensity, the detection limit was 0.47 fM with good selectivity. (miR-21: microRNA-21; CS: chitosan).

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This work has been financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos.: 21775080, 21705086); Key Research and Development Project of Shandong Province, China (No. 2017GSF221004).

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Correspondence to Weiling Song.

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Liu, C., Zhao, L., Liang, D. et al. An CuInS2 photocathode for the sensitive photoelectrochemical determination of microRNA-21 based on DNA–protein interaction and exonuclease III assisted target recycling amplification. Microchim Acta 186, 692 (2019).

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  • Photoelectrochemistry
  • TATA-binding protein
  • Photoresponse
  • Nanoflowers
  • Electrode
  • Aptamer