High-Speed Super-Resolution Imaging Using Protein-Assisted DNA-PAINT

Mike Filius, Tao Ju Cui, Adithya N. Ananth, Margreet W. Docter, Jorrit W. Hegge, John Van Der Oost, Chirlmin Joo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Super-resolution imaging allows for the visualization of cellular structures on a nanoscale level. DNA-PAINT (DNA point accumulation in nanoscale topology) is a super-resolution method that depends on the binding and unbinding of DNA imager strands. The current DNA-PAINT technique suffers from slow acquisition due to the low binding rate of the imager strands. Here we report on a method where imager strands are loaded into a protein, Argonaute (Ago), which allows for faster binding. Ago preorders the DNA imager strand into a helical conformation, allowing for 10 times faster target binding. Using a 2D DNA origami structure, we demonstrate that Ago-assisted DNA-PAINT (Ago-PAINT) can speed up the current DNA-PAINT technique by an order of magnitude, while maintaining the high spatial resolution. We envision this tool to be useful for super-resolution imaging and other techniques that rely on nucleic acid interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2264-2270
Number of pages7
JournalNano Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - 8 Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2020 American Chemical Society.


  • Ago-PAINT
  • Argonaute
  • DNA origami
  • single-molecule FRET
  • super-resolution microscopy


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