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Enzymatic Litmus Test for Selective Colorimetric Detection of C–C Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms

Wolfe, Michael G., Ali, M. Monsur, Brennan, John D.
Analytical chemistry 2019 v.91 no.7 pp. 4735-4740
DNA, ambient temperature, ammonia, breast neoplasms, cell lines, colorimetry, detection limit, enzyme activity, hydrolysis, ions, neoplasm cells, pH, paper, screening, silver, single nucleotide polymorphism, urea, urease
A paper based litmus test has been developed using modulation of urease enzyme activity for detection of C–C mismatch single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) by the naked eye. Urease is first inactivated with silver ions and printed onto paper microzones. Addition of DNA containing C–C mismatches reactivates urease via binding of Ag(I), allowing restoration of urease activity, hydrolysis of urea to produce ammonia, and an increase in pH, which is monitored colorimetrically using a pH indicator with a limit of detection of 11 nM DNA in 40 min. The assay system is easy to use, portable, and stable for at least 30 days at ambient temperature. To assess the versatility and practical application of the paper sensor, we used it to identify a G > C transversion present in human genomic DNA from a ductal carcinoma cell line, a mutation commonly found in breast cancer. We believe this new assay system has the potential to be a low-cost method for rapidly identifying DNA with the C–C mismatch SNP as a means of cancer screening in resource-limited areas.