This protocol outlines a methodology for the preparation and characterization of three RNA-specific fluorescent probes (E36, E144 and F22) and their use in live cell imaging. It describes a detailed procedure for their chemical synthesis and purification; serial product characterization and quality control tests, including measurements of their fluorescence properties in solution, measurement of RNA specificity and analysis of cellular toxicity; and live cell staining and counterstaining with Hoechst or DAPI. Preparation and application of these RNA imaging probes takes 1 week.
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