The role of different structural motifs in the ultrafast dynamics of second generation protein stains

Soumit Chatterjee, Peter Karuso*, Agathe Boulangé, Philippe A. Peixoto, Xavier Franck, Anindya Datta

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    Engineering the properties of fluorescent probes through modifications of the fluorophore structure has become a subject of interest in recent times. By doing this, the photophysical and photochemical properties of the modified fluorophore can be understood and this can guide the design and synthesis of better fluorophores for use in biotechnology. In this work, the electronic spectra and fluorescence decay kinetics of four analogues of the fluorescent natural product epicocconone were investigated. Epicocconone is unique in that the native state is weakly green fluorescent, whereas the enamine formed reversibly with proteins is highly emissive in the red. It was found that the ultrafast dynamics of the analogues depends profoundly on the H-bonding effect of solvents and solvent viscosity though solvent polarity also plays a role. Comparing the steady state and time-resolved data, the weak fluorescence of epicocconone in its native state is most likely due to the photoisomerization of the hydrocarbon side chain, while the keto enol moiety also has a role to play in determining the fluorescence quantum yield. This understanding is expected to aid the design of better protein stains from the same family.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)14951-14959
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
    Issue number48
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2013


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