Recent developments in novel blue/green/red/NIR small fluorescent probes for in cellulo tracking of RNA/DNA G-quadruplexes

Anup Pandith, Ravikumara Guralamatta Siddappa, Young Jun Seo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


The detection and stabilization of G-quadruplexes (G4s) in living systems is of enormous applicability in the fields of chemical biology and therapeutic materials. Whereas DNA serves as a genetic material, RNA functions in the regulation and expression of genetic materials. Even there is various report on fluorescent probes invitro G4s recognitions, in this review we highlighted briefly, in-cellulo identification of G4s along with conventional methods principles. Although there are varieties of G4-forming sequences in the genome, targeting a specific type (topology) in living cells is highly challenging because of the high instability of G4s in cellular/subcellular systems. In contrast, several reports describe the in vitro identification of G4s, along with in-cell demonstrations, using efficient fluorescent probes, through either intrinsic or extrinsic approaches. In the intrinsic mode, the sensing results from the use of highly selective synthetic fluorescent oligonucleotides or proteins (a labeling approach). In the extrinsic mode, quencher-free small molecular probes are used to recognize specific G4s under physiological conditions. Because of their robustness, simplicity, and ease of handling, this review describes recent trends in the use of blue/green, green, red, and near-infrared (NIR) fluorescent probes for the recognition of G4s in live cells-and, particularly, those approaches employing quencher-free probes. Also highlighted are a few labeled probes, and their in cellulo localizations, which were accomplished upon the formation of non-canonical G4s under specified conditions and supplemented by exogenous G4-forming components, without harnessing cellular physiological conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-116
Number of pages36
JournalJournal of Photochemistry and Photobiology C: Photochemistry Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Fluorescent oligonucleotides
  • Genome
  • Non-canonical G4s
  • Quencher-free probes
  • Therapeutic materials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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