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      Extrinsic Fluorescent Dyes as Tools for Protein Characterization


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          Noncovalent, extrinsic fluorescent dyes are applied in various fields of protein analysis, e.g. to characterize folding intermediates, measure surface hydrophobicity, and detect aggregation or fibrillation. The main underlying mechanisms, which explain the fluorescence properties of many extrinsic dyes, are solvent relaxation processes and (twisted) intramolecular charge transfer reactions, which are affected by the environment and by interactions of the dyes with proteins. In recent time, the use of extrinsic fluorescent dyes such as ANS, Bis-ANS, Nile Red, Thioflavin T and others has increased, because of their versatility, sensitivity and suitability for high-throughput screening. The intention of this review is to give an overview of available extrinsic dyes, explain their spectral properties, and show illustrative examples of their various applications in protein characterization.

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          The fluorescent toolbox for assessing protein location and function.

          Advances in molecular biology, organic chemistry, and materials science have recently created several new classes of fluorescent probes for imaging in cell biology. Here we review the characteristic benefits and limitations of fluorescent probes to study proteins. The focus is on protein detection in live versus fixed cells: determination of protein expression, localization, activity state, and the possibility for combination of fluorescent light microscopy with electron microscopy. Small organic fluorescent dyes, nanocrystals ("quantum dots"), autofluorescent proteins, small genetic encoded tags that can be complexed with fluorochromes, and combinations of these probes are highlighted.
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            Creating new fluorescent probes for cell biology.

            Fluorescent probes are one of the cornerstones of real-time imaging of live cells and a powerful tool for cell biologists. They provide high sensitivity and great versatility while minimally perturbing the cell under investigation. Genetically-encoded reporter constructs that are derived from fluorescent proteins are leading a revolution in the real-time visualization and tracking of various cellular events. Recent advances include the continued development of 'passive' markers for the measurement of biomolecule expression and localization in live cells, and 'active' indicators for monitoring more complex cellular processes such as small-molecule-messenger dynamics, enzyme activation and protein-protein interactions.
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              Effect of environmental factors on the kinetics of insulin fibril formation: elucidation of the molecular mechanism.

              In the search for the molecular mechanism of insulin fibrillation, the kinetics of insulin fibril formation were studied under different conditions using the fluorescent dye thioflavin T (ThT). The effect of insulin concentration, agitation, pH, ionic strength, anions, seeding, and addition of 1-anilinonaphthalene-8-sulfonic acid (ANS), urea, TMAO, sucrose, and ThT on the kinetics of fibrillation was investigated. The kinetics of the fibrillation process could be described by the lag time for formation of stable nuclei (nucleation) and the apparent rate constant for the growth of fibrils (elongation). The addition of seeds eliminated the lag phase. An increase in insulin concentration resulted in shorter lag times and faster growth of fibrils. Shorter lag times and faster growth of fibrils were seen at acidic pH versus neutral pH, whereas an increase in ionic strength resulted in shorter lag times and slower growth of fibrils. There was no clear correlation between the rate of fibril elongation and ionic strength. Agitation during fibril formation attenuated the effects of insulin concentration and ionic strength on both lag times and fibril growth. The addition of ANS increased the lag time and decreased the apparent growth rate for insulin fibril formation. The ANS-induced inhibition appears to reflect the formation of amorphous aggregates. The denaturant, urea, decreased the lag time, whereas the stabilizers, trimethylamine N-oxide dihydrate (TMAO) and sucrose, increased the lag times. The results indicated that both nucleation and fibril growth were controlled by hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions. A kinetic model, involving the association of monomeric partially folded intermediates, whose concentration is stimulated by the air-water interface, leading to formation of the critical nucleus and thence fibrils, is proposed.

                Author and article information

                +31-71-5274314 , +31-71-5274565 , w.jiskoot@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl
                Pharm Res
                Pharmaceutical Research
                Springer US (Boston )
                3 January 2008
                July 2008
                : 25
                : 7
                : 1487-1499
                [1 ]Division of Drug Delivery Technology, Leiden/Amsterdam Center for Drug Research, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9502, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
                [2 ]Novartis Pharma AG, WSJ-316.4.14, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland
                © The Author(s) 2007
                : 17 October 2007
                : 5 December 2007
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                © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

                Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical medicine
                fluorescence spectroscopy,protein folding,extrinsic fluorescent dyes,protein aggregation,protein characterization


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