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Visualization of NRAS RNA G‑Quadruplex Structures in Cells with an Engineered Fluorogenic Hybridization Probe

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journal contribution
posted on 10.08.2016, 00:00 by Shuo-Bin Chen, Ming-Hao Hu, Guo-Cai Liu, Jin Wang, Tian-Miao Ou, Lian-Quan Gu, Zhi-Shu Huang, Jia-Heng Tan
The RNA G-quadruplex is an important secondary structure formed by guanine-rich RNA sequences. However, its folding studies have mainly been studied in vitro. Accurate identification of RNA G-quadruplex formation within a sequence of interest remains difficult in cells. Herein, and based on the guanine-rich sequence in the 5′-UTR of NRAS mRNA, we designed and synthesized the first G-quadruplex-triggered fluorogenic hybridization (GTFH) probe, ISCH-nras1, for the unique visualization of the G-quadruplexes that form in this region. ISCH-nras1 is made up of two parts: The first is a fluorescent light-up moiety specific to G-quadruplex structures, and the second is a DNA molecule that can hybridize with a sequence that is adjacent to the guanine-rich sequence in the NRAS mRNA 5′-UTR. Further evaluation studies indicated that ISCH-nras1 could directly and precisely detect the targeted NRAS RNA G-quadruplex structures, both in vitro and in cells. Thus, this GTFH probe was a useful tool for directly investigating the folding of G-quadruplex structures within an RNA of interest and represents a new direction for the design of smart RNA G-quadruplex probes.