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J Am Chem Soc. 2002 Dec 4;124(48):14286-7.

A novel potassium sensing in aqueous media with a synthetic oligonucleotide derivative. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer associated with Guanine quartet-potassium ion complex formation.

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Department of Applied Chemistry, Faculty of Engineering, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 812-8581, Japan.


A novel potassium sensing oligonucleotide (PSO) was constructed by attaching fluorophores 6-FAM and 6-TAMRA to the 5'- and 3'-termini of d(GGG TTA GGG TTA GGG TTA GGG), respectively. The affinity of PSO for K+ was 43 000 times greater than that for Na+, high enough selectivity enabling quantitation of K+ specifically in the presence of excess Na+. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) to 6-TAMRA from 6-FAM of PSO was observed only in the presence of K+. This phenomenon is based on the approximation of the two fluorophores upon formation of a guanine quartet mediated by K+. Furthermore, the fluorescent color of PSO changes from yellow to red upon formation of the complex, thereby enabling visualization of K+ in aqueous media.

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