Super-resolution fluorescence imaging of chromosomal DNA

J Struct Biol. 2012 Feb;177(2):344-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jsb.2011.12.015. Epub 2011 Dec 29.


Super-resolution microscopy is a powerful tool for understanding cellular function. However one of the most important biomolecules - DNA - remains somewhat inaccessible because it cannot be effectively and appropriately labeled. Here, we demonstrate that robust and detailed super-resolution images of DNA can be produced by combining 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine (EdU) labeling using the 'click chemistry' approach and direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (dSTORM). This method can resolve fine chromatin structure, and - when used in conjunction with pulse labeling - can reveal the paths taken by individual fibers through the nucleus. This technique should provide a useful tool for the study of nuclear structure and function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Chromosomes, Human / chemistry
  • Chromosomes, Human / metabolism*
  • Chromosomes, Human / ultrastructure
  • Click Chemistry
  • Deoxyuridine / analogs & derivatives
  • Deoxyuridine / chemistry
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Microscopy, Confocal / methods
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence / methods
  • Staining and Labeling


  • 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine
  • Deoxyuridine