Cyanine Conformational Restraint in the Far-Red Range

Megan S. Michie, Ralph Götz, Christian Franke, Matthew Bowler, Nikita Kumari, Valentin Magidson, Marcia Levitus, Jadranka Loncarek, Markus Sauer, Martin J. Schnermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Far-red cyanine fluorophores find extensive use in modern microscopy despite modest quantum yields. To improve the photon output of these molecules, we report a synthetic strategy that blocks the major deactivation pathway: excited-state trans-to-cis polyene rotation. In the key transformation, a protected dialdehyde precursor undergoes a cascade reaction to install the requisite tetracyclic ring system. The resulting molecules exhibit the characteristic features of conformational restraint, including improved fluorescence quantum yield and extended lifetime. Moreover, these compounds recover from hydride reduction with dramatically improved efficiency. These observations enable efficient single-molecule localization microscopy in oxygenated buffer without addition of thiols. Enabled by modern organic synthesis, these studies provide a new class of far-red dyes with promising spectroscopic and chemical properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12406-12409
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number36
StatePublished - Sep 13 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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