Bio-analytical applications of nicking endonucleases assisted signal-amplification strategies for detection of cancer biomarkers -DNA methyl transferase and microRNA.


Department of Environmental Science and Technology, Central University of Punjab, Bathinda 151001, India. Electronic address: [Email]


The low concentrations of cancer biomarkers in the blood have limited the utility of quantitative bioassays developed for the purpose. The advent of nicking endonucleases (NEases) as signal amplification tools have greatly enhanced the detection efficiency and provided a multi-optional platform to design target specific detection methods. The present review focuses on the prominent features of NEases, modified DNA probes (such as hairpin (HP) probes, molecular beacons, and G- quadruplex) that mediate cyclic cascade and role of helper enzymes. Application of NEase assisted signal amplification (NESA) has been discussed for diagnosis of two prominent cancer biomarkers viz. DNA methyl transferase (Dam MTase) and microRNA (miRNA). NESA mediated techniques such as rolling circle amplification (RCA), strand displacement amplification (SDA) and isothermal exponential amplification (EXPAR), have been compared in light of their future applications in clinical diagnosis. Significance of nanomaterials to achieve further amplification and NESA assays for simultaneous detection of miRNAs has also been conversed. It is anticipated that the information gained from the analyses of the prospects and limitations of NESA-based assays will be useful towards understanding the applications, and improvement of efficient isothermal exponential amplification strategies for highly sensitive and selective detection of cancer biomarkers.


DNA methyl transferase,G-quadruplex,Molecular beacons,Nicking endonuclease,Recognition probes,miRNA,