Developing Visible Fluorogenic ‘Click-On’ Dyes for Cellular Imaging

New fluorogenic dyes were designed and synthesized based on Cu(I)-catalyzed ‘click’ reaction. Conjugating weakly fluorescent benzothiazole derivatives with an electron-deficient alkyne group at the 2-position with azide-containing molecules in aqueous solution form ‘click-on’ fluorescent adducts. Model reactions and cell culture experiment indicated that the developed ‘click-on’ dye could be applied to labeling various biomolecules, such as nucleic acids, proteins, and other molecules, in cells.