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Issue 1, 2013
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Enzymatic activation of nitro-aryl fluorogens in live bacterial cells for enzymatic turnover-activated localization microscopy

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Abstract

Many modern super-resolution imaging methods based on single-molecule fluorescence require the conversion of a dark fluorogen into a bright emitter to control emitter concentration. We have synthesized and characterized a nitro-aryl fluorogen which can be converted by a nitroreductase enzyme into a bright push–pull red-emitting fluorophore. Synthesis of model compounds and optical spectroscopy identify a hydroxyl-amino derivative as the product fluorophore, which is bright and detectable on the single-molecule level for fluorogens attached to a surface. Solution kinetic analysis shows Michaelis–Menten rate dependence upon both NADH and the fluorogen concentrations as expected. The generation of low concentrations of single-molecule emitters by enzymatic turnovers is used to extract subdiffraction information about localizations of both fluorophores and nitroreductase enzymes in cells. Enzymatic Turnover Activated Localization Microscopy (ETALM) is a complementary mechanism to photoactivation and blinking for controlling the emission of single molecules to image beyond the diffraction limit.

Graphical abstract: Enzymatic activation of nitro-aryl fluorogens in live bacterial cells for enzymatic turnover-activated localization microscopy

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Publication details

The article was received on 25 Jul 2012, accepted on 05 Oct 2012 and first published on 05 Oct 2012


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C2SC21074F
Citation: Chem. Sci., 2013,4, 220-225
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    Enzymatic activation of nitro-aryl fluorogens in live bacterial cells for enzymatic turnover-activated localization microscopy

    M. K. Lee, J. Williams, R. J. Twieg, J. Rao and W. E. Moerner, Chem. Sci., 2013, 4, 220
    DOI: 10.1039/C2SC21074F

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