Thiolate DNAzymes on Gold Nanoparticles for Isothermal Amplification and Detection of Mesothelioma-derived Exosomal PD-L1 mRNA

Anal Chem. 2023 Feb 14;95(6):3228-3237. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.2c04046. Epub 2023 Jan 9.


Catalytic DNAzymes have been used for isothermal amplification and rapid detection of nucleic acids, holding the potential for point-of-care testing applications. However, when Subzymes (universal substrate and DNAzyme) are tethered to the polystyrene magnetic microparticles via biotin-streptavidin bonds, the residual free Subzymes are often detached from the microparticle surface, which causes a significant degree of false positives. Here, we attached dithiol-modified Subzyme to gold nanoparticle and improved the limit of detection (LoD) by 200 times compared to that using magnetic microparticles. As a proof of concept, we applied our new method for the detection of exosomal programed cell-death ligand 1 (PD-L1) RNA. As the classical immune checkpoint, molecule PD-L1, found in small extracellular vesicles (sEVs, traditionally called exosomes), can reflect the antitumor immune response for predicting immunotherapy response. We achieved the LoD as low as 50 fM in detecting both the RNA homologous to the PD-L1 gene and exosomal PD-L1 RNAs extracted from epithelioid and nonepithelioid subtypes of mesothelioma cell lines, which only takes 8 min of reaction time. As the first application of isothermal DNAzymes for detecting exosomal PD-L1 RNA, this work suggests new point-of-care testing potentials toward clinical translations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • B7-H1 Antigen / genetics
  • DNA, Catalytic* / metabolism
  • Exosomes* / chemistry
  • Gold / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Mesothelioma* / diagnosis
  • Mesothelioma* / genetics
  • Mesothelioma, Malignant* / metabolism
  • Metal Nanoparticles* / chemistry
  • RNA / analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis


  • DNA, Catalytic
  • Gold
  • B7-H1 Antigen
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA