DNAzyme-amplified label-free biosensor for the simple and sensitive detection of pyrophosphatase

Cheng Yu Lee, Chi Hsiang Liao, Nei Mei Fang, You Zung Hsieh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The level of pyrophosphatase (PPase) expression has been suggested as a potential biomarker of various cancers, and its prognostic value has been evaluated in patients suffering from lung cancer, colorectal cancer, and hyperthyroidism. However, the detection of PPase usually needs specific materials that require complicated, time-consuming reactions with restricted linear range and sensitivity, limiting their application in early clinical diagnosis. Herein, we developed a DNAzyme-based biosensor for the detection of PPase. In the presence of PPase, pyrophosphate (PPi) and Cu2+ ions released from the PPi-Cu2+-PPi complex induce the cleavage of the DNAzyme and the corresponding substrate. An apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP) site was elaborately designed within substrates that could encase the fluorophore 2-amino-5, 6, 7-trimethyl-1, 8-naphthyridine (ATMND). The fluorescence of ATMND was initially quenched but restored when the DNAzyme/substrate complex was hydrolyzed with the release of ATMND. In this way, the PPase activity can be estimated by detecting the increased fluorescence of the released ATMND. Under optimized conditions, the activity of PPase could be analyzed at concentrations from 0.5 to 1000 mU, with the lowest detectable concentration being 0.5 mU. This work lays a foundation for developing a DNAzyme-amplified fluorescent biosensor with a high sensitivity, a wide linear range, and single-step operation for use as an easy diagnostic for PPase analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number422
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • AP site
  • Biosensor
  • DNAzyme
  • PPase


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