Modified nucleosides possessing intrinsically fluorescent heterocycles as base surrogates that are capable of canonical basepairing are becoming important biomolecular tools. These “base-discriminating fluorophores” (BDFs) find use in hybridization-based mismatch detection, elucidation of DNA damage and the study of localized structural phenomena as exemplified in the study of ribozymes and nucleic acid/ligand interactions. In this review, an historical perspective will be given along with some of the more recent highlights in this rapidly developing field.
Keywords: Base-discriminating fluorophore, SNP, DNA, luminescence, solvatochromatism
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