Orthogonal multicolour high-affinity tags for RNA imaging and manipulation

RNA plays a very important role in the regulation of gene expression. Yet, the spatial and temporal dynamics of RNA are still poorly understood, mainly due to the scarcity of effective and simple RNA imaging and purification techniques.

The development of technologies that simultaneously allow imaging, purification and manipulation of multiple RNAs in live cells promises to enable the study of RNA in development, metabolism and disease, which is essential for understanding the control of gene expression in diseases such as autism, cancers and type II diabetes.

Dr. Dolgosheina will develop a multicolour RNA-based imaging method that will allow researchers to simultaneously visualize two RNAs in living cells, while concurrently purifying and/or manipulating RNA interactions with other biomolecules. This new technology will build on, and dramatically increase the capabilities of the bright, high affinity RNA Mango system that she developed during her PhD.

The proposed project is working on an outstanding international problem, and since these tools are urgently needed, the research has attracted significant national and international attention.

This research project will 1) result in international level talks and publications, 2) bring together some of the best international researchers in RNA biophysics and 3) result in intellectual property development, industrial research and training and commercialization via a rapidly growing Canadian biotechnology company, Applied Biological Materials (Richmond, BC).