Catching the Sugars: Electrochemical Aptasensors for the Detection of Cancer-Related Glycosylation Changes in Prostate-Specific Antigen

Ana Diaz-Fernandez, Rebeca Miranda-Castro, Pedro Estrela, Noemi de los Santos Alvarez, Maria Jesus Lobo Castanon

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Prostate-specific Antigen (PSA) is the biomarker that is used for prostate cancer (PCa) detection, although its lack of specificity results in a high rate of false-positives and many unnecessary biopsies. Therefore, there is a need for more specific cancer biomarkers for PCa. Recent studies have shown that the aberrant glycosylation of proteins is a common feature of the presence of cancer. In the case of prostate cancer, there are changes in core-fucose and sialic acids in the glycan structure of PSA. In this work, we describe two different strategies to direct the selection of aptamers toward the glycans of PSA. From these strategies, we identified two aptamers (PSA-1 and PSAG-1) that bind to the glycan structure of PSA with high affinity. Both aptamers were applied in the design of electrochemical aptasensors, in sandwich and direct formats, in order to detect the changes in the glycosylation of PSA. The sensors responded to different levels of PSA in serum, and they showed higher potential to discriminate clinically-meaningful PCa than the ELISA (Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) test used in hospitals (reducing the number of false positives), although validation on more samples is needed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number47
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings — Open Access Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2020


  • Prostate specific antigen
  • SELEX Aptamer Technique/methods
  • Aptamers
  • Electrochemical Biosensor
  • Glycoproteins
  • Prostate cancer

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