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Wavelength-Selective One- and Two-Photon Uncaging of GABA

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journal contribution
posted on 15.01.2014, 00:00 by Joseph M. Amatrudo, Jeremy P. Olson, G. Lur, Chiayu Q. Chiu, Michael J. Higley, Graham C. R. Ellis-Davies
We have synthesized photolabile 7-diethylamino coumarin (DEAC) derivatives of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). These caged neurotransmitters efficiently release GABA using linear or nonlinear excitation. We used a new DEAC-based caging chromophore that has a vinyl acrylate substituent at the 3-position that shifts the absorption maximum of DEAC to about 450 nm and thus is named “DEAC450”. DEAC450-caged GABA is photolyzed with a quantum yield of 0.39 and is highly soluble and stable in physiological buffer. We found that DEAC450-caged GABA is relatively inactive toward two-photon excitation at 720 nm, so when paired with a nitroaromatic caged glutamate that is efficiently excited at such wavelengths, we could photorelease glutamate and GABA around single spine heads on neurons in brain slices with excellent wavelength selectivity using two- and one-photon photolysis, respectively. Furthermore, we found that DEAC450-caged GABA could be effectively released using two-photon excitation at 900 nm with spatial resolution of about 3 μm. Taken together, our experiments show that the DEAC450 caging chromophore holds great promise for the development of new caged compounds that will enable wavelength-selective, two-color interrogation of neuronal signaling with excellent subcellular resolution.

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