DOI: 10.3390/bios13080824 ISSN:

A Critical Study on DNA Probes Attached to Microplate for CRISPR/Cas12 Trans-Cleavage Activity

Konstantin M. Burkin, Aleksandr V. Ivanov, Anatoly V. Zherdev, Boris B. Dzantiev, Irina V. Safenkova
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • General Medicine
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Instrumentation
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)

CRISPR/Cas12-based biosensors are emerging tools for diagnostics. However, their application of heterogeneous formats needs the efficient detection of Cas12 activity. We investigated DNA probes attached to the microplate surface and cleaved by Cas12a. Single-stranded (ss) DNA probes (19 variants) and combined probes with double-stranded (ds) and ssDNA parts (eight variants) were compared. The cleavage efficiency of dsDNA-probes demonstrated a bell-shaped dependence on their length, with a cleavage maximum of 50%. On the other hand, the cleavage efficiency of ssDNA probes increased monotonously, reaching 70%. The most effective ssDNA probes were integrated with fluorescein, antibodies, and peroxidase conjugates as reporters for fluorescent, lateral flow, and chemiluminescent detection. Long ssDNA probes (120–145 nt) proved the best for detecting Cas12a trans-activity for all of the tested variants. We proposed a test system for the detection of the nucleocapsid (N) gene of SARS-CoV-2 based on Cas12 and the ssDNA-probe attached to the microplate surface; its fluorescent limit of detection was 0.86 nM. Being united with pre-amplification using recombinase polymerase, the system reached a detection limit of 0.01 fM, thus confirming the effectiveness of the chosen ssDNA probe for Cas12-based biosensors.

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