Ratiometric fluorescence sensing is a useful technique for the precise and quantitative analysis of biological events occurring under complex conditions, such as those inside cells. We report herein the design of new ratiometric chemosensors for nucleoside polyphosphates such as ATP that are based on binding-induced modulation of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) coupled with a turn-on fluorescence-sensing mechanism. We designed these new FRET-based ratiometric chemosensors by utilizing spectral overlap changes to modulate the FRET efficiency. Introduction of coumarin fluorophores as the FRET donors into a binuclear zinc complex as the FRET acceptor provided the ratiometric chemosensors. These chemosensors exhibited a clear dual-mission signal change upon binding with strong affinity (Kapp ≈ 10 6-107 M-1) to nucleoside polyphosphates in aqueous solution, whereas no detectable emission change was observed with monophosphates and phosphodiester species or various other anions. These chemosensors were used for real-time fluorescence monitoring of enzyme reactions such as saccharide synthesis by glycosyltransferase and phosphorylation by protein kinase, both of which involve nucleoside polyphosphates as substrates. The utility of ratiometric sensing by chemosensors was further demonstrated in a fluorescence-imaging study of the nucleoside polyphosphates inside living cells, wherein we ratiometrically visualized the stimulus-responsive concentration change of ATP, an indicator of the cellular energy level.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry