Live imaging of mRNA using RNA-stabilized fluorogenic proteins

Jiahui Wu, Sara Zaccara, Deepak Khuperkar, Hyaeyeong Kim, Marvin E Tanenbaum, Samie R Jaffrey

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


Fluorogenic RNA aptamers bind and activate the fluorescence of otherwise nonfluorescent dyes. However, fluorogenic aptamers are limited by the small number of fluorogenic dyes suitable for use in live cells. In this communication, fluorogenic proteins whose fluorescence is activated by RNA aptamers are described. Fluorogenic proteins are highly unstable until they bind RNA aptamers inserted into messenger RNAs, resulting in fluorescent RNA-protein complexes that enable live imaging of mRNA in living cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)862-865
Number of pages4
JournalNature Methods
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019


  • Aptamers, Nucleotide/genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins/genetics
  • Fluorescence
  • Fluorescent Dyes/chemistry
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Luminescent Proteins/genetics
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence/methods
  • Molecular Imaging/methods
  • RNA, Messenger/analysis


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