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Methods. 2011 Jun;54(2):251-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2011.02.008. Epub 2011 Feb 24.

RNA labeling, conjugation and ligation.

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Department of Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.


Advances in RNA nanotechnology will depend on the ability to manipulate, probe the structure and engineer the function of RNA with high precision. This article reviews current abilities to incorporate site-specific labels or to conjugate other useful molecules to RNA either directly or indirectly through post-synthetic labeling methodologies that have enabled a broader understanding of RNA structure and function. Readily applicable modifications to RNA can range from isotopic labels and fluorescent or other molecular probes to protein, lipid, glycoside or nucleic acid conjugates that can be introduced using combinations of synthetic chemistry, enzymatic incorporation and various conjugation chemistries. These labels, conjugations and ligations to RNA are quintessential for further investigation and applications of RNA as they enable the visualization, structural elucidation, localization, and biodistribution of modified RNA.

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