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Visualizing double-stranded RNA distribution and dynamics in living cells by dsRNA binding-dependent fluorescence complementation

Cheng, X., Deng, P., Cui, H., Wang, A. (2015). Visualizing double-stranded RNA distribution and dynamics in living cells by dsRNA binding-dependent fluorescence complementation, 485 439-451. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2015.08.023

Abstract

© 2015. Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) is an important type of RNA that plays essential roles in diverse cellular processes in eukaryotic organisms and a hallmark in infections by positive-sense RNA viruses. Currently, no in vivo technology has been developed for visualizing dsRNA in living cells. Here, we report a dsRNA binding-dependent fluorescence complementation (dRBFC) assay that can be used to efficiently monitor dsRNA distribution and dynamics in vivo. The system consists of two dsRNA-binding proteins, which are fused to the N- and C-terminal halves of the yellow fluorescent protein (YFP). Binding of the two fusion proteins to a common dsRNA brings the split YFP halves in close proximity, leading to the reconstitution of the fluorescence-competent structure and restoration of fluorescence. Using this technique, we were able to visualize the distribution and trafficking of the replicative RNA intermediates of positive-sense RNA viruses in living cells.

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