Multi-photon excitation of intrinsic protein fluorescence and its application to pharmaceutical drug screening

C. Buehler, K. Mueller, M. Auer, J. Dreessen, P.T.C. So, A. Schilb, U. Hassiepen, K.A. Stoeckli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The majority of proteins contain intrinsic fluorophores as natural sensors of molecular structures, dynamics, and interactions. The intrinsic protein fluorescence signal allows for the label-free and, hence, undisturbed and rapid study of protein-ligand interactions. Ultraviolet-based drug screening is hampered by the background, photobleaching, light scattering, inner filter effects, and interfering assay compounds. Such problems can be overcome by means of molecular three-photon excitation (3PE) with infrared femtosecond light pulses since longer excitation wavelengths result in less Raleigh scattering, and the subfemtoliter (confocal-like) 3PE volume minimizes out-of-focus photobleaching, background generation, and inner filter effects. We demonstrate the general feasibility of 3PE for protein spectroscopy and illustrate the technique's excellent potential for high-throughput screening. By using the intrinsic fluorescence intensity of a protein-substrate, we were able to discriminate between ligands of different affinities in binding assays.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-167
Number of pages13
JournalAssay and Drug Development Technologies
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2005

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