Quantification and Real-Time Tracking of RNA in Live Cells Using Sticky-Flares*
This chapter reports a novel spherical nucleic acid (SNA) gold nanoparticle conjugate, termed the Sticky-flare, which enables facile quantification of RNA expression in live cells and spatiotemporal analysis of RNA transport and localization. The Sticky-flare is capable of entering live cells without the need for transfection agents and recognizing target RNA transcripts in a sequence-specific manner. This chapter presents an analysis platform to perform RNA quantification and real-time analysis of dynamic RNA translocation. The Sticky-flare uses the same targeting strategy of recognizing and quantifying RNA targets in live cells but has the additional functionality of being able to bind to target transcripts, enabling further analysis of RNA transport and localization. It may improve analyses in other model systems where asymmetric RNA expression is an essential component, such as embryonic development, tissue and organ regeneration, and neurobiology.