Issue 9, 2017

Full color palette of fluorescent d-amino acids for in situ labeling of bacterial cell walls


Fluorescent D-amino acids (FDAAs) enable efficient in situ labeling of peptidoglycan in diverse bacterial species. Conducted by enzymes involved in peptidoglycan biosynthesis, FDAA labeling allows specific probing of cell wall formation/remodeling activity, bacterial growth and cell morphology. Their broad application and high biocompatibility have made FDAAs an important and effective tool for studies of peptidoglycan synthesis and dynamics, which, in turn, has created a demand for the development of new FDAA probes. Here, we report the synthesis of new FDAAs, with emission wavelengths that span the entire visible spectrum. We also provide data to characterize their photochemical and physical properties, and we demonstrate their utility for visualizing peptidoglycan synthesis in Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacterial species. Finally, we show the permeability of FDAAs toward the outer-membrane of Gram-negative organisms, pinpointing the probes available for effective labeling in these species. This improved FDAA toolkit will enable numerous applications for the study of peptidoglycan biosynthesis and dynamics.

Graphical abstract: Full color palette of fluorescent d-amino acids for in situ labeling of bacterial cell walls

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
Edge Article
22 Apr 2017
06 Jul 2017
First published
07 Jul 2017
This article is Open Access

All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry
Creative Commons BY license

Chem. Sci., 2017,8, 6313-6321

Full color palette of fluorescent D-amino acids for in situ labeling of bacterial cell walls

Y. Hsu, J. Rittichier, E. Kuru, J. Yablonowski, E. Pasciak, S. Tekkam, E. Hall, B. Murphy, T. K. Lee, E. C. Garner, K. C. Huang, Yves V. Brun and M. S. VanNieuwenhze, Chem. Sci., 2017, 8, 6313 DOI: 10.1039/C7SC01800B

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