Development of BODIPY-based fluorescent probes for highly selective amino acid identification

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Development of BODIPY-based fluorescent probes for highly selective amino acid identification

Authors

Hendrick, N.; Martin, A.; Chan, A.; Lenihan, J.; Reiter, H.; Clough, M.; Jiang, L.; Whaley, E.; Jeong Huh, Y.; McNeely, J.; Chen, A.; Emili, A.; Beeler, A. B.

Abstract

Amino acid sensing is a powerful tool for intra- and extra-cellular assays. We report herein the generation and optimization of bioconjugatable fluorescent reporter for pan-amino acid sensing, the OMNI probe, that through inductive electronics produces a unique photophysical response upon coupling to the alpha-amino group of an amino acid depending on the identity of the adjacent side chain. Using an auto-photocatalyzed Meerwein arylation reaction, we created a library of bis-arylated 8-methylthio-BODIPY dye derivatives exhibiting improved spectral variation, brightness, dynamic range, robustness, water solubility, and reactivity. Aryl groups with optimal photophysical behaviors were combined to create asymmetric versions conferring high spectral range, brightness, and water solubility. Combining aryl group modifications yielded a set of engineered asymmetric probes that achieved complete spectral resolution in a multi-variable analysis (fluorescent emission, lifetime, brightness) for all twenty native amino acid-dye conjugates while increasing reactivity toward amino acids in aqueous buffer. With our robust OMNI probe design, pan-amino acid resolution and identification through high sensitivity fluorescence down to single molecules is now routinely possible for diverse potential applications including protein sequencing.

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