News Release

Sensitive and specific detecting biomarker of radiation-resistant nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Peer-Reviewed Publication

World Scientific

In a paper published in NANO, a team of researchers from Jiangnan University, China have prepared a convenient sensing platform which can detect microRNA-205 (MiR-205) with high sensitivity and excellent selectivity using TpTta-COF nanosheet and fluorescent oligonucleotide probes.

Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a kind of malignant cancer derived from the epithelial cells, which shows an apparent regional aggregation with a high prevalence in Southern China and Southeast Asia. With the ongoing improvement of radiotherapy technology, the therapeutic effect of NPC patients has been increased significantly. However, the easy recurrence and metastasis still cause the poor prognosis of NPC patients. Many researches indicated that radiation resistance may be a major obstacle leading to residual or recurring of tumor continues and it was also thought to be the main cause of treatment failure for NPC. An important attribute of MiR-205 is their potential use as predictive biomarker for anti-radiation of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), and it is pivotal to monitor the dynamic change of MiR-205 for personalized precise treatment.

There are several methods aiming at detecting MiR-205 while rarely has worked out questions such as limited complex detection processes, poor sample detection limit or spending lots of time. Therefore, a method for detecting MiR-205 based on 2D COF nanosheets and fluorescent oligonucleotide probe was constructed and invested of the fluorescent single-stranded DNA (ss-DNA) probes through fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET).

2D COF materials could adsorb single-stranded DNA (ss-DNA) because of π?π stacking interaction. The fluorescence of the dyes will be quenched through fluorescence resonance energy transfer. Dye-labeled ss-DNA binds to 2D COF, and the fluorescence is recovered upon its specific interaction with the target biomolecules. The degree of fluorescence recovery is dependent on the conditions in the reaction environment, and it is also affected by the concentration of COF particles. By monitoring the fluorescence intensity of the biosensing platform, the concentration of target miRNA in the solution can be reflected, which indicated the feasibility of constructing the foundation for the quantitative determination of miRNA.

The results show that the method enables to capture MiR-205 sensitively in aqueous solution with a detection limit of 4.78 nM in the range 0-500 nM and R2= 0.989, and the method offers great specificity in that it can distinguish the target miRNA from mismatch non-target miRNAs. Considering its simple operability and excellent specificity, it has great application prospects in the detection of miRNA biomarker in clinical diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.


This research was supported in part by the Top-notch Academic Programs Project of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (PPZY2015B146), Wuxi Science and Technology Development Fund (N20192044), 2018 Innovative research team of Jiangsu Province, Construction project of Shanghai Key Laboratory of Molecular Imaging (18DZ2260400), and Shanghai Municipal Education Commission (Class II Plateau Disciplinary Construction Program of Medical Technology of SUMHS, 2018-2020).

Corresponding authors for this study are Zhaoqi Yang ( and Gang Huang ( Additional co-authors of the paper are Sen Li, Shaoxian Yin, Yanfei Cai and Jian Jin from Jiangnan University.

For more insight into the research described, readers are invited to access the paper on NANO.

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