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A general method to fine-tune fluorophores for live-cell and in vivo imaging

By Jonathan B. Grimm, Anand K Muthusamy, Yajie Liang, Timothy A. Brown, William C. Lemon, Ronak Patel, Rongwen Lu, John J Macklin, Phillip J. Keller, Na Ji, Luke D. Lavis

Posted 14 Apr 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/127613 (published DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.4403)

Pushing the frontier of fluorescence microscopy requires the design of enhanced fluorophores with finely tuned properties. We recently discovered that incorporation of four-membered azetidine rings into classic fluorophore structures elicits substantial increases in brightness and photostability, resulting in the 'Janelia Fluor' (JF) series of dyes. Here, we refine and extend this strategy, showing that incorporation of 3-substituted azetidine groups allows rational tuning of the spectral and chemical properties with unprecedented precision. This strategy yields a palette of new fluorescent and fluorogenic labels with excitation ranging from blue to the far-red with utility in live cells, tissue, and animals.

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