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Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2018 Sep 3;57(36):11564-11568. doi: 10.1002/anie.201804090. Epub 2018 Aug 6.

A Far-Red Fluorescent DNA Binder for Interaction Studies of Live Multidrug-Resistant Pathogens and Host Cells.

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Institute for Lung Research, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Hans-Meerwein-Strasse 2, 35043, Marburg, Germany.
Fachbereich Chemie, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Hans-Meerwein-Strasse 4, 35043, Marburg, Germany.
Member of the German Center for Lung Research (DZL), Germany.


Transgene expression of green fluorescent protein (GFP) has facilitated the spatiotemporal investigation of host-pathogen interactions; however, introduction of the GFP gene remains challenging in drug-resistant bacteria. Herein, we report a novel far-red fluorescent nucleic acid stain, 6-TramTO-3, which efficiently labels bacteria through a DNA binding mode without affecting growth and viability. Exemplarily, we stained Klebsiella pneumoniae, a major threat to hospitalized patients, and deciphered divergent interaction strategies of antibiotic-resistant and antibiotic-sensitive Klebsiella strains with immune cells. 6-TramTO-3 constitutes an off-the-shelf reagent for real-time analysis of bacterial infection, including strains for which the use of genetically encoded reporters is not feasible. Eventually, our approach may aid the development of strategies to combat a major worldwide health threat: multidrug-resistant bacteria.


DNA recognition; antibiotics; far-red cyanine dyes; fluorescence-activated cell sorting; multidrug-resistant bacteria


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