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Cell Surface-Anchored DNA Nanomachine for Dynamically Tunable Sensing and Imaging of Extracellular pH

Liu, Lan, Dou, Cai-Xia, Liu, Jin-Wen, Wang, Xiang-Nan, Ying, Zhan-Ming, Jiang, Jian-Hui
Analytical chemistry 2018 v.90 no.19 pp. 11198-11202
DNA, diagnostic techniques, equipment, image analysis, pH
DNA nanodevices that mimic natural biomolecular machines changing configurations in response to external inputs have enabled smart sensors to live cell imaging. We report for the first time the development of a dynamic DNA nanomachine that is anchored on a cell’s surface and undergoes pH-responsive triplex–duplex conformation switching, allowing tunable sensing and imaging of extracellular pH. Results reveal that the DNA nanomachine can be stably anchored on the cell surface via multiple anchors, and the adjustment of C⁺G-C content in the switch element confers tunability of pH response windows. The anchored DNA nanomachine also demonstrates desirable sensitivity, excellent reversibility, and quantitative ability for extracellular pH detection and imaging. This cell surface-anchored pH-responsive DNA nanomachine can provide a useful platform for pH sensing in extracellular microenvironments and diagnostics of different pH-related diseases.