N° 359 janvier 2012

Solvatochromic fluorescent dyes as universal tools for biological research

Pagination : 20-26
Rubrique : Recherche et développement
Sous-rubrique : Médailles de bronze du CNRS

Application of NR12S for fluorescence imaging of separate Lo and Ld phase domains in giant vesicles (A) and changes in the lipid order in cell membranes on cholesterol depletion by methyl-β-cyclodextrin (B and C).

Fluorescent dyes capable of changing their color and brightness in response to changes of their environment polarity, so-called solvatochromic dyes, have recently emerged as a powerful tool for biological research. The most well-established are dyes that undergo excited state charge transfer showing red shift of their single emission band with increase in the solvent polarity.

The other promising class is dyes undergoing excited state intramolecular proton transfer and showing solvent-sensitive dual emission. Solvatochromic dyes were successfully applied for monitoring lipid order in biological membranes and to study lipid domains, transmembrane asymmetry and apoptosis. Moreover, these dyes grafted to peptides enable monitoring their interactions with oligonucleotides, proteins and lipid membranes.

Andrey S. Klymchenko was attributed the CNRS Bronze Medal in 2010.

Article en anglais. Paper in English.