Design and synthesis of caged fluorescent nucleotides and application to live-cell RNA imaging

Shuji Ikeda, Takeshi Kubota, Dan Ohtan Wang, Hiroyuki Yanagisawa, Tadashi Umemoto, Akimitsu Okamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A binary photocontrolled nucleic acid probe that contains a nucleotide modified with one photolabile nitrobenzyl unit and two hybridization-sensitive thiazole orange units has been designed for area-specific fluorescence imaging of RNA in a cell. The synthesized probe emitted very weak fluorescence regardless of the presence of the complementary RNA, whereas it showed hybridization-sensitive fluorescence emission at 532 nm after photoirradiation at 360 or 405 nm for uncaging. Fluorescence suppression of the caged probe was attributed to a decrease in the duplex-formation ability. Caged fluorescent nucleotides with other emission wavelengths (622 and 724 nm) were also synthesized in this study; they were uncaged by 360 nm irradiation, and emitted fluorescence in the presence of the complementary RNA. Such probes were applied to area-specific RNA imaging in a cell. Only probes in the defined irradiation area were activated by uncaging irradiation, and subnuclear mRNA diffusion in a living cell was monitored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2871-2880
Number of pages10
Issue number18
StatePublished - Dec 16 2011


  • Fluorescence spectroscopy
  • Fluorescent probes
  • Nucleotides
  • Photochemistry
  • Photolysis
  • RNA recognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Organic Chemistry


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