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Issue 10, 2017
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Fluorinated molecular beacons as functional DNA nanomolecules for cellular imaging

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Abstract

Molecular beacons (MBs) are simple, but practical, fluorescent nanoprobes widely used to detect small molecules, nucleic acids and proteins. However, some challenges still remain when MBs are employed in complex biological environments, such as instability and non-target interference. To meet such challenges, we have designed and synthesized fluorinated molecular beacons (FMBs) as functional DNA nanomolecules for cellular imaging, in which the stem sequence is simply composed of artificial nucleotides with 3,5-bis(trifluoromethyl)benzene (F) as the surrogate base of natural A, T, C and G bases. The introduction of F base into MBs significantly increases their hydrophobicity, and the stem is formed by the assembly of self-complementary base F nucleotides through hydrophobic interactions. Fluorescence studies revealed that FMBs confer improved stability over conventional MBs. To demonstrate the application of FMBs for cellular imaging, we constructed an FMB to detect mRNA in MCF-7 cells, and the FMB was proven to be a practical nanoprobe for cellular imaging of mRNA.

Graphical abstract: Fluorinated molecular beacons as functional DNA nanomolecules for cellular imaging

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Publication details

The article was received on 25 Jun 2017, accepted on 21 Aug 2017 and first published on 21 Aug 2017


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C7SC02819A
Citation: Chem. Sci., 2017,8, 7082-7086
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    Fluorinated molecular beacons as functional DNA nanomolecules for cellular imaging

    C. Jin, T. Fu, R. Wang, H. Liu, J. Zou, Z. Zhao, M. Ye, X. Zhang and W. Tan, Chem. Sci., 2017, 8, 7082
    DOI: 10.1039/C7SC02819A

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