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Photochem Photobiol Sci. 2004 Apr;3(4):348-59. Epub 2004 Mar 17.

Static and time-resolved fluorescence investigations of tryptophan analogues--a solvent study.

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  • 1Physikalische Chemie I, Fakultät für Chemie, Universität Bielefeld, Universitätsstrasse 25, D-33615 Bielefeld, Germany.


The fluorescence properties of tryptophan, polytryptophan and seven of its analogues (7-azatryptophan, 5-hydroxytryptophan, 5-methoxytryptophan, 5-fluorotryptophan, 5-methyltryptophan, 5-bromotryptophan, and 6-fluorotryptophan) are studied using two novel fluorescence spectroscopic techniques for a wide range of solvent polarities. Two-dimensional mapping of all emission and all fluorescence spectra using excitation-emission spectroscopy (EES) has been used to determine quantum yields, positions of emission maxima, full widths at half maximum (FWHMs) as well as Stokes' shifts. Additionally, fluorescence lifetimes obtained from time-resolved experiments using a picosecond laser system are presented and compared with the data acquired from the static setup. This systematic study of the fluorescence characteristics is a prerequisite to assess the potential of these analogues to act as structure-conserving substitutes for tryptophan in protein fluorescence experiments. The potential of these analogues, to act as probes for the local environment, and allow estimation of the polarity in the vicinity of the fluorophore and its exposure to the solvent, is discussed.

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