Fluorogenic Protein Probes with Red or Near-Infrared Emission for Genetically Targeted Live-Cell Imaging

A series of red-emitting and near-infrared fluorogenic protein probes based on push-pull molecular rotor structures was developed. After characterization of their optical properties using Bovine Serum Albumin as a model protein, they were conjugated to a halogenoalkane ligand in order to target the protein self-labeling tag HaloTag. The interaction with HaloTag was investigated in vitro and then the most promising probes were applied to live-cell imaging in wash-free conditions using fluorogenic and chemogenetic targeting of HaloTag fusion proteins.