Multiphoton characterization and live cell imaging using fluorescent adenine analogue 2CNqA.

Nilsson JR, Benitez-Martin C, Sansom HG, Pfeiffer P, Baladi T, Le HN, Dahlén A, Magennis SW, Wilhelmsson LM

Phys Chem Chem Phys 25 (30) 20218-20224 [2023-08-02; online 2023-08-02]

Fluorescent nucleobase analogues (FBAs) are established tools for studying oligonucleotide structure, dynamics and interactions, and have recently also emerged as an attractive option for labeling RNA-based therapeutics. A recognized drawback of FBAs, however, is that they typically require excitation in the UV region, which for imaging in biological samples may have disadvantages related to phototoxicity, tissue penetration, and out-of-focus photobleaching. Multiphoton excitation has the potential to alleviate these issues and therefore, in this work, we characterize the multiphoton absorption properties and detectability of the highly fluorescent quadracyclic adenine analogue 2CNqA as a ribonucleotide monomer as well as incorporated, at one or two positions, into a 16mer antisense oligonucleotide (ASO). We found that 2CNqA has a two-photon absorption cross section that, among FBAs, is exceptionally high, with values of σ2PA(700 nm) = 5.8 GM, 6.8 GM, and 13 GM for the monomer, single-, and double-labelled oligonucleotide, respectively. Using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, we show that the 2CNqA has a high 2P brightness as the monomer and when incorporated into the ASO, comparing favorably to other FBAs. We furthermore demonstrate the usefulness of the 2P imaging mode for improving detectability of 2CNqA-labelled ASOs in live cells.

Integrated Microscopy Technologies Gothenburg [Service]

PubMed 37475592

DOI 10.1039/d3cp01147j

Crossref 10.1039/d3cp01147j

Publications 9.5.0