Photoactivatable fluorophores (PAFs) are powerful imaging probes for tracking molecular and cellular dynamics with high spatiotemporal resolution in biological systems. Recent developments in biological microscopy have raised new demands for engineering new PAFs with improved properties, such as high two photon excitation efficiency, reversibility, cellular delivery and targeting. Here we review the history and some of the recent developments in this area, emphasizing our efforts in developing a new class of caged coumarins and related imaging methods for studying dynamic cell-cell communication through gap junction channels, and in extending the application of these caged coumarins to new areas including spatiotemporal control of microRNA activity in vivo.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry