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Tetrahedron Lett. 2010 Dec 20;51(51):6753-5755.

Synthesis and spectroscopic characterization of red-shifted spironaphthoxazine based optical switch probes.

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Department of Bioengineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.


Spironaphthoxazine (NISO) is an efficient optical switch probe that has applications in high contrast detection of Foerster resonance energy transfer (FRET) using optical lock-in detection (OLID). NISO exists in two distinct states spiro (SP) and merocyanine (MC) that can be independently controlled by using alternate irradiation with near ultraviolet and visible light. Unfortunately, the SP-state of NISO has an absorption centered at 350 nm, which may lead to phototoxic effects when manipulating the probe within a living cell. To overcome this problem we introduce new, red-shifted amino substituted NISO probes compared to NISO that undergo an efficient SP to MC transition in response to irradiation by using 405-nm light, which is less damaging to living cells. This study details the synthesis of amino-substituted NISO and their N-hydroxysuccinimide ester and maleimide derivatives and their use in generating covalent attached protein conjugates. This study also presents a characterization of the spectroscopic and optical switching properties of these red-shifted NISO probe in solution.

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