Detection and discrimination of single nucleotide polymorphisms by exploiting metal ion-mediated DNA duplex

Chanho Park, Yeongeun Yu, Haenglyun Jung, Kuewhan Jang, Sungsoo Na

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Detection of mutant DNA is necessary for early diagnosis of disease. In particular, detection of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) has become an important method for monitoring cancer and obtaining theragnostic information about it. SNPs are very difficult to detect selectively because of their similarity with wildtype DNA. In this paper, the specific binding between metal ion and DNA mismatch was used to achieve highly sensitive and selective SNP detection. Cytosine-cytosine (C-C) mismatched nucleobases capture silver (Ag) ions, and thymine-thymine (T-T) mismatched nucleobases capture mercury (Hg) ions. Metal ions bound between DNA could be reduced using a reducing agent (hydroquinone). In addition, gold (Au) amalgam could be formed around the DNA mismatch by the reduction of Au ion and mercury ion bound between T-T mismatches. Differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) was used to measure signals which are mediated by silver and Au amalgam. The detection limit of point mutation DNA obtained by the proposed detection method is 20 pM. In addition, by comparing the values of the DPV peaks by silver and Au amalgam, the types of DNA point mutations including cytosine or thymine (CT, CC, TT, AC, and TG) could be distinguished. The results obtained from our proposed method suggest its potential for diagnosing cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number127493
JournalSensors and Actuators, B: Chemical
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Feb 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The following is Supplementary data to this article: Dr. Na is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Korea University in Seoul, Korea. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Korea University, and Ph.D. degree in Engineering Science and Mechanics from Virginia Tech in 1997. His research interest is in the areas of protein dynamics, nanoscale sensing method. His research program has been funded by National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT & Future Planning.

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) under grant numbers of NRF-2016R1A5A1010148 , NRF-2015M3A9D7031026 and funded by the M inistry of Science, ICT & Future Planning. C. Park and Y. Yu contributed equally to this work. Appendix A

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier B.V.


  • DNA detection
  • Differential pulse voltammetry (DPV)
  • KRAS
  • Mutant DNA
  • Point mutation
  • SNP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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