Jump to main content
Jump to site search
PLANNED MAINTENANCE Close the message box

Scheduled maintenance upgrade on Thursday 4th of May 2017 from 8.00am to 9.00am (BST).

During this time our websites will be offline temporarily. If you have any questions please use the feedback button on this page. We apologise for any inconvenience this might cause and thank you for your patience.

Detection of small, highly structured RNAs by molecular beacons


The use of molecular beacons is a versatile method to detect RNAs. Typically, a single-stranded region of RNA is selected as a target sequence for molecular beacons. Therefore, detection of highly structured short RNAs, such as tRNAs, seems to be difficult. In this study, as an example of highly structured target RNA, we used human tRNALys3, which is known to have functions in protein synthesis and the reverse transcription of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1. No long single-stranded region more than 8 nt is present in this tRNA, which is much shorter than the standard target length of molecular beacons (~20 nt). This study showed that sensitive detection of highly structured RNAs by molecular beacons was much more difficult than that of unstructured or less structured RNAs. However, efficient detection of the tRNALys3 was achieved by selecting the best target region, i.e., the region around the D arm, probably due to the ease of unfolding of this arm. Accordingly, our findings suggested that molecular beacons may have applications in the detection of highly structured RNAs related to various biological functions and diseases.

Back to tab navigation
Please wait while Download options loads

Publication details

The article was received on 08 Feb 2017, accepted on 20 Apr 2017 and first published on 21 Apr 2017

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7AY00341B
Citation: Anal. Methods, 2017, Accepted Manuscript
  •   Request permissions

    Detection of small, highly structured RNAs by molecular beacons

    J. Li, C. Xu, N. Shimada, Y. Miyoshi, K. Watanabe, W. Cong and T. Ohtsuki, Anal. Methods, 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7AY00341B

Search articles by author