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J Phys Chem B. 2013 Nov 21;117(46):14273-82. doi: 10.1021/jp4071168. Epub 2013 Nov 12.

Environment-responsive fluorescent nucleoside analogue probe for studying oligonucleotide dynamics in a model cell-like compartment.

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Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune , Dr. Homi Bhabha Road, Pashan, Pune 411008, India.


The majority of fluorescent nucleoside analogue probes that have been used in the in vitro study of nucleic acids are not suitable for cell-based biophysical assays because they exhibit excitation maxima in the UV region and low quantum yields within oligonucleotides. Therefore, we propose that the photophysical characterization of oligonucleotides labeled with a fluorescent nucleoside analogue in reverse micelles (RM), which are good biological membrane models and UV-transparent, could provide an alternative approach to studying the properties of nucleic acids in a cell-like confined environment. In this context, we describe the photophysical properties of an environment-sensitive fluorescent uridine analogue (1), based on the 5-(benzo[b]thiophen-2-yl)pyrimidine core, in micelles and RM. The emissive nucleoside, which is polarity- and viscosity-sensitive, reports the environment of the surfactant assemblies via changes in its fluorescence properties. The nucleoside analogue, incorporated into an RNA oligonucleotide and hybridized to its complementary DNA and RNA oligonucleotides, exhibits a significantly higher fluorescence intensity, lifetime, and anisotropy in RM than in aqueous buffer, which is consistent with the environment of RM. Collectively, our results demonstrate that nucleoside 1 could be utilized as a fluorescent label to study the function of nucleic acids in a model cellular milieu.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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