Bioisostere-conjugated fluorescent probes for live-cell protein imaging without non-specific organelle accumulation.

29 December 2023, Version 2
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Specific labeling of proteins using membrane-permeable fluorescent probes is a powerful technique for bioimaging. Cationic fluorescent dyes with high fluorescence quantum yield, photostability, and water solubility provide highly useful scaffolds for protein-labeling probes. However, cationic probes generally show undesired accumulation in organelles, which causes a false-positive signal in localization analysis. Herein, we report a design strategy for probes that suppress undesired organelle accumulation using a bioisostere for intracellular protein imaging in living cells. Our design allows the protein labeling probes to possess both membrane permeability and suppress non-specific accumulation and has been shown to use several protein labeling systems, such as PYP-tag and Halo tag systems. We further developed a fluorogenic PYP-tag labeling probe for intracellular proteins and used it to visualize multiple localizations of target proteins in the intracellular system. Our strategy offers a versatile design for undesired accumulation-suppressed probes with cationic dye scaffolds and provides a valuable tool for intracellular protein imaging.


Fluorescent probe
Live-cell imaging

Supplementary materials

Supporting Information
Details of synthesis, characterization, optical spectra, and cell imaging experiments.


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