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CREOL, The College of Optics & Photonics

Optical Nanoscopy group led by Prof. Kyu Young Han reports a new fluorescent tag of small RNA for live cell imaging

RNA is an important biomolecule in cells, acting as a messenger, adapter or controller between DNA and proteins. In particular, its number and intracellular location have been known to strongly affect embryo development and neurogenesis. However, it has been challenging to monitor RNA in living cells due to the lack of appropriate optical probes while green fluorescent protein (GFP) is widely used in imaging of proteins. In the paper published online this week in Nucleic Acids Research, Optical Nanoscopy group first reports fluorescent probes that enable visualizing small RNA without perturbation to the metabolism of cells. The probe is consisted of a small fluorogenic molecule and specially designed RNA genetically engineered to our target RNA. It could greatly facilitate revealing the mechanisms of protein synthesis in living cells. This collaborative work is accomplished with Thomas Jefferson University, Johns Hopkins University and University of Uppsala.

Posted Wednesday, December 14, 2016

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