Journal of the American Chemical Society, 24 July, 2019，DOI：https://doi.org/10.1021/jacs.9b04659
Quantum Dot Nanobeacons for Single RNA Labeling and Imaging
Yingxin Ma, Guobin Mao, Weiren Huang, Guoqiang Wu, Wen Yin, Xinghu Ji, Zishi Deng, Zhiming Cai, Xian-En Zhang, Zhike He* and Zongqiang Cui*
Detection and imaging RNAs in live cells is in high demand. Methodology for such a purpose is still a challenge, particularly for single RNA detection and imaging in live cells. In this study, a type of quantum dot (QD) nanobeacon with controllable valencies was constructed by precisely conjugating the black hole quencher (BHQ1) and phosphorothioate comodified DNA onto CdTe:Zn2+ QDs via a one-pot hydrothermal method. The nanobeacon with only one conjugated DNA was used to label and detect low-abundance nucleic acids in live cells, and single HIV-1 RNAs were detected and imaged in live HIV-1 integrated cells. Additionally, QD nanobeacon-labeled HIV-1 genomic RNAs were encapsulated in progeny viral particles, which can be used to track the uncoating process of single viruses. The current study provides a platform for nucleic acid labeling and imaging with high sensitivity, being especially meaningful for tracking of individual RNAs in live cells.