Super-Photostable Phosphole-Based Dye for Multiple-Acquisition Stimulated Emission Depletion Imaging

Papers published
C. Wang, M. Taki, Y. Sato, A. Fukazawa, T. Higashiyama, and S. Yamaguchi, J. Am. Chem. Soc., ASAP DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b04418
  • As stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy can provide structural details of cells with an optical resolution beyond the diffraction limit, it has become an indispensable tool in cell biology. However, the intense STED laser beam usually causes rapid photobleaching of the employed fluorescent dyes, which significantly limits the utility of STED microscopy from a practical perspective. Herein we report a new design of super-photostable dye, PhoxBright 430 (PB430), comprising a fully ring-fused π-conjugated skeleton with an electron-accepting phosphole P-oxide unit. We previously developed a super-photostable dye C-Naphox by combining the phosphole unit with an electron-donating triphenylamine moiety. In PB430, removal of the amino group alters the transition type from intramolecular charge transfer character to π–π* transition character, which gives rise to intense fluorescence insensitive to molecular environment in terms of fluorescence colors and intensity, and bright fluorescence even in aqueous media. PB430 also furnishes high solubility in water, and is capable of labeling proteins with maintaining high fluorescence quantum yields. This dye exhibits outstanding resistance to photoirradiation even under the STED conditions and allows continuous acquisition of STED images. Indeed, using a PB430-conjugated antibody, we succeed in attaining a 3-D reconstruction of super-resolution STED images as well as photostability-based multicolor STED imaging of fluorescently labeled cytoskeletal structures.

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