Small molecule spectrophotometric probes for DNA/RNA and proteins are of the utmost
importance for diagnostics in biochemical and biomedical research. Both, naturally occurring and synthetic
probes, often include peptide sequence responsible for the selectivity toward the particular target;
however, commercially available dyes are restricted to single point attachment to the peptide (having
one reactive group). Here presented are our recent advances in the development of novel amino acidfluorophore
probes, with the unique characteristic of free N- and C-terminus available for incorporation
at any peptide backbone position. Intriguingly, already monomeric amino acid-fluorophores showed
recognition among various DNA/RNA, whereby steric impact and contribution of halogens is systematically
studied. Moreover, some dyes revealed intracellular mitochondria specificity. Further, several
hetero-dimeric chromophore systems were prepared, demonstrating that synergistic effect can lead to
simultaneous DNA, RNA and protein fluorimetric recognition, combined with enzyme inhibition. Also,
homodimeric cyanines equipped with chlorine revealed intriguing DNA/RNA selectivity in respect to
well-known parent TOTO and YOYO dyes.
Keywords: DNA/RNA recognition, protein recognition, fluorescence, cyanine - amino acid conjugate, prokin structures, homodimers.
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