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Chembiochem. 2012 Dec 21;13(18):2722-8. doi: 10.1002/cbic.201200525. Epub 2012 Nov 20.

Programming in situ immunofluorescence intensities through interchangeable reactions of dynamic DNA complexes.

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Departments of Bioengineering and Chemistry, Rice University, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


The regulation of antibody reporting intensities is critical to various in situ fluorescence-imaging analyses. Although such control is often necessary to visualize sparse molecular targets, the ability to tune marker intensities is also essential for highly multiplexed imaging strategies in which marker reporting levels must be tuned both to optimize dynamic detection ranges and to minimize crosstalk between different signals. Existing chemical amplification approaches generally lack such control. Here, we demonstrate that linear and branched DNA complexes can be designed to function as interchangeable building blocks that can be assembled into organized, fluorescence-reporting complexes. We show that the ability to program DNA-strand-displacement reactions between these complexes offers new opportunities to deterministically tune the number of dyes that are coupled to individual antibodies in order both to increase and controllably balance marker reporting levels within fixed cells.

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