Coumarin luciferins and mutant luciferases for robust multi-component bioluminescence imaging†
Multi-component bioluminescence imaging requires an expanded collection of luciferase–luciferin pairs that emit far-red or near-infrared light. Toward this end, we prepared a new class of luciferins based on a red-shifted coumarin scaffold. These probes (CouLuc-1s) were accessed in a two-step sequence via direct modification of commercial dyes. The bioluminescent properties of the CouLuc-1 analogs were also characterized, and complementary luciferase enzymes were identified using a two-pronged screening strategy. The optimized enzyme-substrate pairs displayed robust photon outputs and emitted a significant portion of near-infrared light. The CouLuc-1 scaffolds are also structurally distinct from existing probes, enabling rapid multi-component imaging. Collectively, this work provides novel bioluminescent tools along with a blueprint for crafting additional fluorophore-derived probes for multiplexed imaging.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2021 Chemical Science HOT Article Collection