Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Testing for Enzyme Activity using Gold Nanoparticles

Abstract:
Can you see just by looking whether or not an active enzyme is present in a sample? This is exactly what Chinese scientists have done by using a new protocol that combines gold nanoparticles with an enzyme substrate to give a simple test for the activity of an enzyme, the results of which can be seen with the naked eye.

Testing for Enzyme Activity using Gold Nanoparticles

Germany | Posted on November 24th, 2011

Human telomerase is an enzyme that catalyzes the addition of protective repeat units of DNA known as telomeres onto the human chromosome. This enzyme is overexpressed in over 85% of tumors, so it can act as a clear biomarker for the presence of a tumor, and it is already used in this way for diagnosis. However, the main current detection method for human telomerase involves amplification of the DNA by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which carries with it an inherent possibility to produce artifacts. Other methods that have been used are either unsuitable for high-throughput procedures, relatively insensitive, or require complicated equipment to perform and read-out.

Now, researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences at Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, China, led by Xiaogang Qu have developed a new, easy-to-perform method to detect activity of human telomerase rapidly and at low concentrations of the enzyme.

Their method uses gold nanoparticles and is based on the fact that the usual substrate for telomerase is an oligonucleotide which, when attached to the surface of a gold nanoparticle, will fold in such a way to prevent aggregation of the particles. Addition or presence of the telomerase enzyme causes the substrate to cleave from the nanoparticle, which alters the aggregation of the particles. This change in aggregation then causes a color change in the solution that is visible with the naked eye when the concentration of cells is high enough, or can be measured using a UV-Vis spectrophotometer down to a concentration of a single HeLa cell per microliter.

The color change means that no complicated equipment is required to read-out the test result, and the whole analysis can be completed in a very short amount of time, unlike methods that work via PCR. All of this, combined with the relatively low cost of the test, means that it could easily be used in a high-throughput situation to test many samples quickly. As well as diagnosis of cancers, the authors have also tested their method as a way to screen for telomerase inhibitors that could act as possible anticancer drugs, so this work should be of great interest to scientists working in drug development as well as to medics both in the field and the laboratory.

####

For more information, please click here

Copyright © Wiley-VCH Materials Science Journals

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

J. Wang et al., Small ; DOI: 10.1002/smll.201101938

Related News Press

News and information

Freeze-dried foam soaks up carbon dioxide: Rice University scientists lead effort to make novel 3-D material August 16th, 2017

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors: Researchers discover that fluorescence in ligand-protected gold nanoclusters is an intrinsic property of the gold particles themselves August 16th, 2017

Two Scientists Receive Grants to Develop New Materials: Chad Mirkin and Monica Olvera de la Cruz recognized by Sherman Fairchild Foundation August 16th, 2017

Scientists from the University of Manchester and Diamond Light Source work with Deben to develop and test a new compression stage to study irradiated graphite at elevated temperatures August 15th, 2017

Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology announces a new partner in Korea August 15th, 2017

Chemistry

Two Scientists Receive Grants to Develop New Materials: Chad Mirkin and Monica Olvera de la Cruz recognized by Sherman Fairchild Foundation August 16th, 2017

2-faced 2-D material is a first at Rice: Rice University materials scientists create flat sandwich of sulfur, molybdenum and selenium August 14th, 2017

Discoveries

Freeze-dried foam soaks up carbon dioxide: Rice University scientists lead effort to make novel 3-D material August 16th, 2017

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors: Researchers discover that fluorescence in ligand-protected gold nanoclusters is an intrinsic property of the gold particles themselves August 16th, 2017

Fewer defects from a 2-D approach August 15th, 2017

Scientists from the University of Manchester and Diamond Light Source work with Deben to develop and test a new compression stage to study irradiated graphite at elevated temperatures August 15th, 2017

Announcements

Freeze-dried foam soaks up carbon dioxide: Rice University scientists lead effort to make novel 3-D material August 16th, 2017

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors: Researchers discover that fluorescence in ligand-protected gold nanoclusters is an intrinsic property of the gold particles themselves August 16th, 2017

Two Scientists Receive Grants to Develop New Materials: Chad Mirkin and Monica Olvera de la Cruz recognized by Sherman Fairchild Foundation August 16th, 2017

Scientists from the University of Manchester and Diamond Light Source work with Deben to develop and test a new compression stage to study irradiated graphite at elevated temperatures August 15th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project