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Dynamically Long-Term Imaging of Cellular RNA by Fluorescent Carbon Dots with Surface Isoquinoline Moieties and Amines
- Cheng, Yunying, Li, Chunmei, Mu, Ruizhu, Li, Yuanfang, Xing, Tiantian, Chen, Binbin, Huang, Chengzhi
- Analytical chemistry 2018 v.90 no.19 pp. 11358-11365
- Danio rerio, RNA, RNA probes, adenosine triphosphate, amines, apoptosis, biocompatibility, carbon quantum dots, drug interactions, fluorescence, fluorescent dyes, hot water treatment, image analysis, larvae, mitosis, moieties, monitoring, photostability
- Cellular RNA dynamics are closely associated with a vast range of physiological processes that are mostly long-lasting. To uncover the association between RNA dynamics and these processes, fluorescent RNA probes with high specificity, photostability, and biocompatibility are compulsory. Herein, a series of fluorescent carbon dots (CDs) have been prepared by one-pot hydrothermal treatment of o-, m-, or p-phenylenediamines with triethylenetetramine. Only CDs derived from the meta precursor (m-CDs) with excellent photostability and biocompatibility can specifically bind to cellular RNA, allowing successfully long-term (up to 3 days) monitoring of RNA dynamics during cell apoptosis, mitosis, and proliferation. This RNA affinity can be attributed to the isoquinoline moieties and amines on the surface of m-CDs, which can bind to RNA through π–π stacking and electrostatic bonding, respectively. The cellular internalization of m-CDs is time-, temperature-, ATP-, caveolar, and microtubule-dependent. Additionally, investigations on the in vivo behavior of m-CD suggest that they can be efficiently and rapidly excreted from the zebrafish larvae body after 48 h. Our results provide a powerful tool for clarifying complex relationships between RNA dynamics and basic biological processes, disease development, or drug interactions.