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Methods Enzymol. 2012;505:383-99. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-388448-0.00028-0.

Probes for intracellular RNA imaging in live cells.

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Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.


RNA localization, dynamics, and regulation are becoming increasingly important to our basic understanding of gene expression and RNA virus pathogenesis. An improved understanding of these processes will be necessary in order to identify new drug targets, as well as to create models of gene expression networks. Much of this new understanding will likely come from imaging studies of RNA, which can generate the spatiotemporal information necessary to characterize RNA within the cellular milieu. Ideally, this would be performed imaging native, nonengineered RNAs, but the approaches for performing these experiments are still evolving. In order for them to reach their potential, it is critical that they have characteristics that allow for the tracking of RNA throughout their life cycle. This chapter presents an overview of RNA imaging methodologies, and focuses on a single RNA sensitive method, employing exogenous probes, for imaging, native, nonengineered RNA in live cells.

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