Transglutaminase-mediated in situ hybridization (TransISH) for mRNA detection in mammalian tissues

Katsuyuki Miyawaki, Sumihare Noji, Noriho Kamiya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the most commonly used in situ hybridization (ISH) procedure, a hapten-labeled antisense nucleic acid (e.g., RNA) probe is employed to hybridize a target mRNA in tissue sections. The hapten-labeled RNA is then detected by a highly specific hapten–antibody interaction; however, it requires laborious immunostaining steps for spatial coloring on tissue sections. To simplify ISH-based mRNA detection systems, we created a new RNA–(enzyme) n conjugate for sensitive detection of mRNA in tissue sections. In the present simple, antibody-free ISH protocol, an antisense RNA probe of interest is first modified with a specific dipeptide substrate of microbial transglutaminase (MTG) by in vitro transcription. Alkaline phosphatase from a hyperthermophile is then covalently linked to the substrate-labeled RNA by MTG-catalyzed sitespecific conjugation. A robust, multi-enzyme-labeled RNA probe enables the direct labeling of a target mRNA in tissue sections with signaling enzymes under harsh hybridization conditions, leading to one-step signal amplification after hybridization. The application of the new trans glutaminase-mediated ISH (TransISH) strategy to mRNA detection in mammalian tissues was demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-558
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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