Synthetic biological approaches for RNA labelling and imaging: design principles and future opportunities

Steven Pauff, Jamie M Withers, Iain JW McKean, Simon P Mackay, Glenn A Burley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
48 Downloads (Pure)


RNA is the most mercurial of all biomacromolecules. In contrast to DNA, where the predominant role is the storage of genetic information, the biological role of RNA varies; ranging from a template-based intermediary in gene expression to playing a direct role in catalysis. Their high turnover and metabolic lability makes the detection of specific sequences particularly challenging. This review describes the latest synthetic biological developments that enable the direct imaging of RNA both in vitro and in their native cellular environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-158
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Biotechnology
Early online date8 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • RNA
  • biomacromolecules
  • RNA imaging

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