Selective fluorescent detection of RNA in living cells by using imidazolium-based cyclophane

J Am Chem Soc. 2013 Jan 9;135(1):90-3. doi: 10.1021/ja3112274. Epub 2012 Dec 26.


A water-soluble imidazolium-based fluorescent chemosensor senses RNA selectively through fluorescence enhancement over other biologically relevant biomolecules in aqueous solution at physiological pH 7.4. Fluorescence image detection of RNA in living cells such as onion cells, HeLa cells, and animal model cells was successfully demonstrated which displays a chelation-enhanced fluorescence effect. These affinities can be attributed to the strong electrostatic (C-H)(+)···A(-) ionic H-bonding and the aromatic moiety driven π-stacking of imidazolium-based cyclophane with the size-complementary major groove of RNA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / chemistry*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / cytology
  • Fluorescence*
  • Fluorescent Dyes / chemical synthesis
  • Fluorescent Dyes / chemistry*
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Imidazoles / chemistry*
  • Macrocyclic Compounds / chemical synthesis
  • Macrocyclic Compounds / chemistry*
  • Onions / chemistry*
  • Onions / cytology
  • RNA / analysis*


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Imidazoles
  • Macrocyclic Compounds
  • RNA