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Special Issue "Fluorescent Probes for Protein and Nucleic Acid Detection"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Medicinal Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Pascal Didier
Guest Editor
Université de Strasbourg, Illkirch, FranceLaboratoire de Biophotonique et Pharmacologie, Illkirch, France
Interests: fluorescence imaging; fluorescence; ultrafast dynamics; microscopy; quantitative fluorescence methods; live cell imaging; photophysics; optics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nucleic acids are essential molecules needed for encoding, transmitting, and expressing genetic information. Numerous key cellular mechanisms rely on their dynamic interaction with proteins, which induce local and transient changes in the DNA secondary and tertiary structure. Although structural methods, such as X-ray diffraction, NMR, or electron microscopy, provide invaluable information on the structure of the protein/nucleic acid complexes, they are less suited for monitoring the dynamic aspects of the interaction and the associated conformational changes, especially in the context of diluted solutions. As a result of their exquisite sensitivity, fluorescence-based techniques are highly potent for exploring the dynamics of molecules in diluted solutions or in cells. The field of fluorescent probes is constantly evolving with the development of innovative tools that can be used in vitro and in cellulo. Therefore, scientists are invited to submit manuscripts illustrating the suitability of newly developed sensors for proteins and nucleic acids detection (in vitro and in cellulo), as well as manuscripts describing novel tools that can be used to assess the dynamics of biomolecular interaction.

Prof. Dr. Pascal Didier
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Fluophores
  • Optical probes
  • Photophysical sensing
  • Binding affinity
  • Recognition
  • Hybridization
  • Fluorescence microscopy
  • Single molecule detection
  • Fluorescent nucleoside analogues
  • FRET measurements

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Detection of Several Homologous MicroRNAs by a Single Smart Probe System Consisting of Linear Nucleic Acid Blockers
Molecules 2019, 24(20), 3691; - 14 Oct 2019
We report a universal smart probe (SP) that is capable of detecting several homologous let-7 microRNAs (miRNAs). While the SP is complementary to let-7a, and therefore, strongly binds to this target, due to sequence homology, the SP also has equal propensity to non-specifically [...] Read more.
We report a universal smart probe (SP) that is capable of detecting several homologous let-7 microRNAs (miRNAs). While the SP is complementary to let-7a, and therefore, strongly binds to this target, due to sequence homology, the SP also has equal propensity to non-specifically hybridize with let-7b and let-7c, which are homologous to let-7a. The fluorescence signal of the SP was switched off in the absence of any homologous member target, but the signal was switched on when any of the three homologous members was present. With the assistance of nucleic acid blockers (NABs), this SP system can discriminate between homologous miRNAs. We show that the SP can discriminate between let-7a and the other two sequences by using linear NABs (LNABs) to block non-specific interactions between the SP and these sequences. We also found that LNABs used do not cross-react with the let-7a target due to the low LNABs:SP molar ratio of 6:1 used. Overall, this SP represents a universal probe for the recognition of a homologous miRNA family. The assay is sensitive, providing a detection limit of 6 fmol. The approach is simple, fast, usable at room temperature, and represents a general platform for the in vitro detection of homologous microRNAs by a single fluorescent hairpin probe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluorescent Probes for Protein and Nucleic Acid Detection)
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