Live-Cell Imaging of RNA Transport in Axons of Cultured Primary Neurons

Methods Mol Biol. 2022;2431:225-237. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-1990-2_11.


The use of fluorescent proteins has revolutionized the study of protein localization and transport. However, the visualization of other molecules and specifically RNA during live-cell imaging remains challenging. In this chapter, we provide guidance to the available methods, their advantages and drawbacks as well as provide a detailed protocol for the detection of RNA transport using the MS2/PP7-split-Venus system for background-free RNA imaging.

Keywords: Cultured primary neurons; Imaging; MS2; PP7; RNA transport; Split-Venus; Transient transfection.

MeSH terms

  • Axons / metabolism
  • Neurons* / metabolism
  • RNA / metabolism
  • RNA Transport*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics


  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA