Fundamental photophysics of isomorphic and expanded fluorescent nucleoside analogues
Fluorescent nucleoside analogues (FNAs) are structurally diverse mimics of the natural essentially non-fluorescent nucleosides which have found numerous applications in probing the structure and dynamics of nucleic acids as well as their interactions with various biomolecules. In order to minimize disturbance in the labelled nucleic acid sequences, the FNA chromophoric groups should resemble the natural nucleobases in size and hydrogen-bonding patterns. Isomorphic and expanded FNAs are the two groups that best meet the criteria of non-perturbing fluorescent labels for DNA and RNA. Significant progress has been made over the past decades in understanding the fundamental photophysics that governs the spectroscopic and environmentally sensitive properties of these FNAs. Herein, we review recent advances in the spectroscopic and computational studies of selected isomorphic and expanded FNAs. We also show how this information can be used as a rational basis to design new FNAs, select appropriate sequences for optimal spectroscopic response and interpret fluorescence data in FNA applications.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Nucleic Acids