Epicocconone, a new cell-permeable long stokes' shift fluorescent stain for live cell imaging and multiplexing

H. Y. Choi, D. A. Veal, P. Karuso*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)


Epicocconone is a heterocyclic natural product from the fungus Epicoccum nigrum that fluoresces weakly in the green (520 nm). However, cells exposed to epicocconone rapidly absorb the dye and become bright orange fluorescent because the natural product reacts reversibly with proteins. The orange fluorescence is enhanced in lipophilic environments, allowing the visualization of membranous organelles and lipid rafts but does not stain oligonucleotides. As the unconjugated dye has no orange fluorescence, there is no need to wash out the excess fluorophore. Epicocconone is a neutral, non-toxic, small molecule that appears to diffuse readily into live of fixed cells without the need for permeabilization. These features enable the real-time imaging of live cells and the study of organelle movements. Cells stained with epicocconone are excitable by common lasers (UV, 405, 488, and 532 nm) and its long Stokes' shift allows multiplexing applications with more common short Stokes' fluorophores using a single light source.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-482
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Fluorescence
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006


Cite this