CSCB Research Collection

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  • Publication
    Tracking DNA excited states by picosecond-time-resolved infrared spectroscopy: Signature band for a charge-transfer excited state in stacked adenine-thymine systems
    UV photoexcitation of an adenine-thymine heterodimer (ApT) in D 2O yields a complex transient infrared signature in the 1500-1600 cm-1 spectral region. The spectral dynamics fit well to a biexponential decay assignable to two transient species. The first, a short-lived species with a lifetime of ca. 5 ps, originates from the vibrationally hot electronic ground state of the unstacked form of the dinucleotide. The second species is longer-lived (ca. 75 ps), and its yield correlates to the amount of stacked dinucleotide present in solution. We assign the longer-lived component to a charge-transfer (A•+pT •-) state by comparison with calculated spectra for the adenine radical cation and thymine radical anion. Significantly, the CT feature is also identified in UV-excited [poly(dA-dT)]2. This experimental observation gives a powerful insight into how base-base interactions lead to extended-lifetime electronic excited states of the nucleic acid bases and how a dimeric structure controls the relaxation pathway. © 2013 American Chemical Society.
      157Scopus© Citations 68
  • Publication
    Efficient Quenching of TGA-Capped CdTe Quantum Dot Emission by a Surface-Coordinated Europium(III) Cyclen Complex
    Extremely efficient quenching of the excited state of aqueous CdTe quantum dots (QDs) by photoinduced electron transfer to a europium cyclen complex is facilitated by surface coordination to the thioglycolic acid capping ligand. The quenching dynamics are elucidated using steady-state emission and picosecond transient absorption.
      159Scopus© Citations 20
  • Publication
    Cellular Uptake Mediated Off/On Responsive Near-Infrared Fluorescent Nanoparticles
    Fluorescence imaging, utilizing molecular fluorophores, often acts as a central tool for the investigation of fundamental biological processes and offers huge future potential for human imaging coupled to therapeutic procedures. An often encountered limitation with fluorescence imaging is the difficulty in discriminating nonspecific background fluorophore emission from a fluorophore localized at a specific region of interest. This limits imaging to individual time points at which background fluorescence has been minimized. It would be of significant advantage if the fluorescence output could be modulated from off to on in response to specific biological events as this would permit imaging of such events in real time without background interference. Here we report our approach to achieve this for the most fundamental of cellular processes, i.e. endocytosis. We describe a new near-infrared off to on fluorescence switchable nanoparticle construct that is capable of switching its fluorescence on following cellular uptake but remains switched off in extracellular environments. This permits continuous real-time imaging of the uptake process as extracellular particles are nonfluorescent. The principles behind the fluorescence off/on switch can be understood by encapsulation of particles in cellular organelles which effect a microenvironmental change establishing a fluorescence signal. © 2011 American Chemical Society.
      153Scopus© Citations 62
  • Publication
    Biosynthetic engineering of polyene macrolides for generation of improved antifungal and antiparasitic agents
    Polyene macrolides are potent antifungal agents that are also active against parasites, enveloped viruses and prion diseases. They are medically important as antifungal antibiotics but their therapeutic use is limited by serious side effects. In recent years there has been considerable progress in genetic analysis and manipulation of the streptomycetes that produce nystatin, amphotericin B, candicidin, pimaricin and rimocidin/CE-108-related polyenes. This has led to engineered biosynthesis of several new polyenes that are not easily obtained as semi-synthetic derivatives. This review summarises recent advances made since the subject was last reviewed in 2003. Polyene biosynthesis generally involves assembly and cyclisation of a polyketide chain, followed by oxidative modifications and glycosylation of the macrolactone ring. New derivatives have been obtained by engineering both early and late stages of polyene biosynthetic pathways. These compounds have allowed more detailed investigations of structure-activity relationships and some are likely to show improvements in therapeutic index. The biosynthetic approach is already yielding sufficient material for testing the toxicity and activity of new compounds, thus opening possibilities for discovery of leads for development of effective and safe antifungal and antiparasitic agents.
      358Scopus© Citations 66
  • Publication
    Streptomyces nodosus Host Strains Optimised for Glycosylation Engineering
    The AmphDI glycosyltransferase transfers a mycosaminyl sugar residue from GDP onto 8-deoxyamphoteronolide B, the aglycone of the antifungal amphotericin B. In this study the amphDI gene was inactivated in Streptomyces nodosus strains lacking the AmphN cytochrome P450. The new mutants produced 8-deoxy-16-methyl-16-descarboxyl amphoteronolides in high yield. These strains and aglycones should prove valuable for in vivo and in vitro glycosylation engineering.
      182Scopus© Citations 13