Sets of RNA Repeated Tags and Hybridization-Sensitive Fluorescent Probes for Distinct Images of RNA in a Living Cell
Imaging the behavior of RNA in a living cell is a powerful means for understanding RNA functions and acquiring spatiotemporal information in a single cell. For more distinct RNA imaging in a living cell, a more effective chemical method to fluorescently label RNA is now required. In addition, development of the technology labeling with different colors for different RNA would make it easier to analyze plural RNA strands expressing in a cell.
Tag technology for RNA imaging in a living cell has been developed based on the unique chemical functions of exciton-controlled hybridization-sensitive oligonucleotide (ECHO) probes. Repetitions of selected 18-nucleotide RNA tags were incorporated into the mRNA 3′-UTR. Pairs with complementary ECHO probes exhibited hybridization-sensitive fluorescence emission for the mRNA expressed in a living cell. The mRNA in a nucleus was detected clearly as fluorescent puncta, and the images of the expression of two mRNAs were obtained independently and simultaneously with two orthogonal tag–probe pairs.
A compact and repeated label has been developed for RNA imaging in a living cell, based on the photochemistry of ECHO probes. The pairs of an 18-nt RNA tag and the complementary ECHO probes are highly thermostable, sequence-specifically emissive, and orthogonal to each other. The nucleotide length necessary for one tag sequence is much shorter compared with conventional tag technologies, resulting in easy preparation of the tag sequences with a larger number of repeats for more distinct RNA imaging.
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