Photoactivatable fluorophores are powerful imaging probes for tracking molecular and cellular dynamics with high spatiotemporal resolution. We have designed and synthesized a new caged FRET dye, CCC-1, comprising a caged coumarin and a water soluble xanthene dye. CCC-1 can be efficiently photolyzed by ultraviolet light. Its photolyzed product, CC-1, emits strong green fluorescence with a FRET efficiency of 95% when excited near 410 nm. The uncaging cross section of CCC-1 is about 6000 M-1cm-1 at 365 nm, more than a hundred times higher than caged fluoresceins developed previously. The probe is also biocompatible and has built-in functionalities for bioconjugation.
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