Imaging and Tracking mRNA in Live Mammalian Cells via Fluorogenic Photoaffinity Labeling


An improved method for labeling and imagine RNA in live cells.

Key Benefits

  • Low background signal.
  • Covalent binding suitable for time-resolved investigations.
  • Photoactivatable for temporal control.

Market Summary

Ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules are synthesized in cells through highly regulated biogenesis pathways, and when these molecules mature, they regulate the fundamental cellular processes in the body. In addition, they are involved many diseases and are a primary focus of biotechnology companies and academic researchers. Several tools have been developed to sequence, image, and track RNA within cell culture and animal models to gain better insight into their function. However, current RNA labeling approaches suffer from a high background, poor signal durability, and require large quantities of RNA. Hence, new tools are needed to enhance RNA analysis to improve the fundamental understanding of diseases and develop new drugs and diagnostics for treatment and prevention.

Technical Summary

Researchers developed a novel method for improved labeling and imaging RNA in live cells using a photoaffinity approach. In this method the Malachite Green Aptamer (MGA) ligand is functionalized with a photoactivatable reaction for irradiation with UV light results in covalent attachment to the RNA of interest. Furthermore, the researchers incorporated a photoaffinity linker onto the MGA and fused said MGA to a specific mRNA reporter of interest. This demonstrated significantly improved sensitivity for fixed cells and live cells imaging of mRNA.

Developmental Stage

Prototype tested.

Patent Information

App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Patent Status
Utility (parent) United States 17/172,480   2/10/2021   Pending
Tech ID: 20092
Published: 7/6/2022