The understanding of normal human physiology and disease pathogenesis shows great promise for progress with increasing ability to profile genomic loci and transcripts in single cells in situ. Using biorthogonal cleavable fluorescent oligonucleotides, a highly multiplexed single-cell in situ RNA and DNA analysis is reported. In this report, azide-based cleavable linker connects oligonucleotides to fluorophores to show nucleic acids through in situ hybridization. Post-imaging, the fluorophores are effectively cleaved off in half an hour without loss of RNA or DNA integrity. Through multiple cycles of hybridization, imaging, and cleavage this approach proves to quantify thousands of different RNA species or genomic loci because of single-molecule sensitivity in single cells in situ. Different nucleic acids can be imaged by shown by multi-color staining in each hybridization cycle, and that multiple hybridization cycles can be run on the same specimen. It is shown that in situ analysis of DNA, RNA and protein can be accomplished using both cleavable fluorescent antibodies and oligonucleotides. The highly multiplexed imaging platforms will have the potential for wide applications in both systems biology and biomedical research. Thus, proving to be cost effective and time effective.
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