Imaging gene expression in real-time using aptamers

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Signal transduction pathways are usually activated by external stimuli and are transient. The downstream changes such as transcription of the activated genes are also transient. Real-time detection of promoter activity is useful for understanding changes in gene expression, especially during cell differentiation and in development. A simple and reliable method for viewing gene expression in real time is not yet available. Reporter proteins such as fluorescent proteins and luciferase allow for non-invasive detection of the products of gene expression in living cells. However, current reporter systems do not provide for real-time imaging of promoter activity in living cells. This is ... continued below

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Shin, Il Chung November 2, 2012.

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  • Ames Laboratory
    Publisher Info: Ames Laboratory (AMES), Ames, IA (United States)
    Place of Publication: Ames, Iowa

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Signal transduction pathways are usually activated by external stimuli and are transient. The downstream changes such as transcription of the activated genes are also transient. Real-time detection of promoter activity is useful for understanding changes in gene expression, especially during cell differentiation and in development. A simple and reliable method for viewing gene expression in real time is not yet available. Reporter proteins such as fluorescent proteins and luciferase allow for non-invasive detection of the products of gene expression in living cells. However, current reporter systems do not provide for real-time imaging of promoter activity in living cells. This is because of the long time period after transcription required for fluorescent protein synthesis and maturation. We have developed an RNA reporter system for imaging in real-time to detect changes in promoter activity as they occur. The RNA reporter uses strings of RNA aptamers that constitute IMAGEtags (Intracellular MultiAptamer GEnetic tags), which can be expressed from a promoter of choice. The tobramycin, neomycin and PDC RNA aptamers have been utilized for this system and expressed in yeast from the GAL1 promoter. The IMAGEtag RNA kinetics were quantified by RT-qPCR. In yeast precultured in raffinose containing media the GAL1 promoter responded faster than in yeast precultured in glucose containing media. IMAGEtag RNA has relatively short half-life (5.5 min) in yeast. For imaging, the yeast cells are incubated with their ligands that are labeled with fluorescent dyes. To increase signal to noise, ligands have been separately conjugated with the FRET (Förster resonance energy transfer) pairs, Cy3 and Cy5. With these constructs, the transcribed aptamers can be imaged after activation of the promoter by galactose. FRET was confirmed with three different approaches, which were sensitized emission, acceptor photobleaching and donor lifetime by FLIM (fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy). Real-time transcription was measured by FLIM-FRET, which was detected by the decrease in donor lifetime resulting from ligand binding to IMAGEtags that were newly synthesized from the activated GAL1 promoter. The FRET signal was specific for transcribed IMAGEtags.

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  • Report No.: IS-T 3080
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-07CH11358
  • DOI: 10.2172/1082970 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1082970
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc842937

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • November 2, 2012

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  • May 19, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

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  • Aug. 3, 2016, 6:32 p.m.

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Shin, Il Chung. Imaging gene expression in real-time using aptamers, thesis or dissertation, November 2, 2012; Ames, Iowa. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc842937/: accessed January 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.