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Novel SERS Strategy Developed for Beta-galactosidase Activity Assay
Date: 2021/07/22 Author: LI Shaofei

Recently, a research group led by Prof. YANG Liangbao, from the Institute of Health and Medical Technology, Hefei Institutes of Physical Science (HFIPS), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), developed in-situ Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) readout strategy to improve the reliability of beta-galactosidase activity assay based on X-gal staining. The relevant research results have been published in Talanta.

Beta-galactosidase (β-gal) activity is closed related to senescence cells and aging-associated diseases. X-gal (5-bromo-4-chloro-3-indolyl-β-D-galactoside) staining is the most widely used and commercially available colorimetric assay with low-cost and not intensive equipment. However, the traditional readout of β-gal activity based on X-gal staining is limited to low sensitivity in short incubation times and false positives in long incubation times. It is difficult to achieve consistent positives in cell proliferation because the growth state of the cell is often not homogeneous.

In this study, scientists revealed the potential role of insoluble X-gal hydrolysates in causing false positives. X-gal hydrolysates, causing diffuse diffusion pollution depending on organic medium, can guide the readout strategy as a universal evasion factor.

Consequently, they proposed the sensitive and rapid in-situ SERS readout strategy to identify and locate β-gal positive cells based on X-gal staining.

This novel strategy was further proved to be necessary and feasible. It solved the challenges of traditional readout, and that will be of great significance in different applications such as age-related research and anti-aging therapy.

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

Link to the paper: In-situ SERS readout strategy to improve the reliability of beta-galactosidase activity assay based on X-gal staining in shortening incubation times

In-situ SERS readout strategy for individual cells. (A) The schematic of the strategy to improve the reliability by shortening staining times. (B) X-gal staining assay for cells. (C and D) In-situ SERS readout. The red and black triangles mark the positive and negative cells respectively. The blue band indicates the marker peak of X-gal hydrolysates. (Image by LI Shaofei)

Contact:

ZHAO Weiwei
Hefei Institutes of Physical Science (http://english.hf.cas.cn/)
Email: annyzhao@ipp.ac.cn

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