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Amplified voltammetric detection of glycoproteins using 4-mercaptophenylboronic acid/biotin-modified multifunctional gold nanoparticles as labels

Authors Liu L, Xing Y, Zhang H, Liu RL, Liu HJ, Xia N

Received 12 February 2014

Accepted for publication 23 March 2014

Published 27 May 2014 Volume 2014:9(1) Pages 2619—2626

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S62343

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Lin Liu,1,2 Yun Xing,1 Hui Zhang,1 Ruili Liu,1 Huijing Liu,1 Ning Xia1,2

1College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Anyang Normal University, Anyang, Henan, People’s Republic of China; 2College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: Ultrasensitive detection of protein biomarkers is essential for early diagnosis and therapy of many diseases. Glycoproteins, differing from other types of proteins, contain carbohydrate moieties in the oligosaccharide chains. Boronic acid can form boronate ester covalent bonds with diol-containing species. Herein, we present a sensitive and cost-effective electrochemical method for glycoprotein detection using 4-mercaptophenylboronic acid (MBA)/biotin-modified gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) (MBA-biotin-AuNPs) as labels. To demonstrate the feasibility and sensitivity of this method, recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) was tested as a model analyte. Specifically, rHuEPO was captured by the anti-rHuEPO aptamer-covered electrode and then derivatized with MBA-biotin-AuNPs through the boronic acid–carbohydrate interaction. The MBA-biotin-AuNPs facilitated the attachment of streptavidin-conjugated alkaline phosphatase for the production of electroactive p-aminophenol from p-aminophenyl phosphate substrate. A detection limit of 8 fmol L-1 for rHuEPO detection was achieved. Other glycosylated and non-glycosylated proteins, such as horseradish peroxidase, prostate specific antigen, metallothionein, streptavidin, and thrombin showed no interference in the detection assay.

Keywords: electrochemical biosensor, boronic acid, signal amplification, alkaline phosphatase

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