A stem-less probe using spontaneous pairing between Cy3 and quencher for RNA detection

<p>We herein report a stem-less probe for the detection of RNA that depends on pairing between Cy3 and nitro methyl red. In our design, two Cy3 residues and two nitro methyl red residues were introduced into an oligonucleotide. In the absence of the target, these dyes formed a complex, and emission of Cy3 was efficiently quenched. Hybridization with the target RNA disrupted this interaction and resulted in Cy3 emission. Under optimized conditions, the signal to background ratio was as high as 180. We demonstrated specific detection of target RNA in cells using a wash-free FISH protocol.</p>