Using DNA aptamer probe for immunostaining of cancer frozen tissues

Ying Pu, Zhenxu Liu, Yi Lu, Peng Yuan, Jun Liu, Bo Yu, Guodong Wang, Chaoyong James Yang, Huixia Liu, Weihong Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tissue immunostaining is critically important in clinical applications, and antibodies have been used extensively as the molecular probes. Recently, aptamer, as a new class of probes, have attracted much attention for their potential clinical and research value. Epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) is a specific biomarker which is overexpressed in many cancers of epithelial origin. Here, a DNA-based EpCAM aptamer SYL3C is reported as a probe for the immunostaining of frozen and paraffin-embedded sections of colorectal cancer tissues. Commercialized EpCAM antibodies were also used as a standard control. EpCAM aptamer SYL3C specifically recognized and immunostained cancer nests of colorectal tumor sections, but it neither reacted with background cells within tumor sites nor exhibited cross-reaction to the benign lesions or inflammation of colorectal tissues. No cross-linking to EpCAM-negative malignant tumor sections occurred. Compared with standard antibody staining, our EpCAM aptamer SYL3C protocol is simpler to implement with a shorter reaction time. Moreover, SYL3C can specifically bind with either frozen or paraffin-embedded tissue sections. Since the histopathology of frozen tissue is closer to that of fresh tissue and since frozen sections can be produced more quickly than paraffin-embedded sections, SYL3C immunostaining of frozen sections is a quick protocol that is easy to implement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1919-1924
Number of pages6
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 3 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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