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<p class="first" id="P1">We report a bifunctional fluorescent probe that combines
a rhodium metalloinsertor
with a cyanine dye as the fluorescent reporter. The conjugate shows weak luminescence
when free in solution or with well matched DNA but exhibits a significant luminescence
increase in the presence of a 27-mer DNA duplex containing a central CC mismatch.
DNA photocleavage experiments demonstrate that, upon photoactivation, the conjugate
cleaves the DNA backbone specifically near the mismatch site on a 27-mer fragment,
consistent with mismatch targeting. Fluorescence titrations with the 27-mer duplex
containing the CC mismatch reveal a DNA binding affinity of 3.1 × 10
<sup>−1</sup>, similar to that of other rhodium metalloinsertors. Fluorescence titrations
genomic DNA extracted from various cell lines demonstrate a clear discrimination in
fluorescence between those cell lines that are proficient or deficient in mismatch
repair. This differential luminescence reflects the sensitive detection of the mismatch
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