Self-reporting hybridisation assay for miRNA analysis.
Riley J-A., Brown T., Gale N., Herniman J., Langley GJ.
Hybridisation assays, which are commonly used to analyse oligonucleotides such as siRNAs and miRNAs, often employ detection probes with fluorescent tags. The signal emitted by a fluorescent tag covers a broad range of wavelengths and this limits the multiplexing potential due to overlapping signals. A novel method of indirect oligonucleotide analysis has been developed which combines a hybridisation assay with cleavable small molecule mass tags using HPLC-ESI MS detection. A self-reporting detection probe has been designed which incorporates a DNA/RNA chimeric oligonucleotide sequence in the reporter region, which generates small nucleotide products upon RNase cleavage of the ribose-phosphate backbone. These small nucleotides can then serve as mass tags for the indirect detection of oligonucleotide analytes. The narrow mass range covered by a small molecule mass tag combined with the wide range of possible mass tags provides a high degree of multiplexing potential. This approach has been demonstrated for the analysis of a synthetic miRNA.