Genetically encoded RNA nanodevices for cellular imaging and regulation
Nucleic acid-based nanodevices have been widely used in the fields of biosensing and nanomedicine. Traditionally, the majority of these nanodevices were first constructed in vitro using synthetic DNA or RNA oligonucleotides and then delivered into cells. Nowadays, the emergence of genetically encoded RNA nanodevices has provided a promising alternative approach for intracellular analysis and regulation. These genetically encoded RNA-based nanodevices can be directly transcribed and continuously produced inside living cells. A variety of highly precise and programmable nanodevices have been constructed in this way during the last decade. In this review, we will summarize the recent advances in the design and function of these artificial genetically encoded RNA nanodevices. In particular, we will focus on their applications in regulating cellular gene expression, imaging, logic operation, structural biology, and optogenetics. We believe these versatile RNA-based nanodevices will be broadly used in the near future to probe and program cells and other biological systems.