Fluorescent ligands are molecules with an agonist or antagonist chemically connected to a fluorescent dye. Fluorescent ligands are synthesized by attaching a fluorophore to a receptor-targeting moiety for the receptor of interest. These are complex structures composed by three different elements: a pharmacophore, the active molecule that interacts with the target of interest, a fluorophore that emits light after excitation at specific wavelengths, and a linker connecting both. They are commonly supplied in a powder or solution form and are used in many applications to help scientists understand how proteins interact and develop. This blog will briefly outline fluorescent ligands and their importance in various scientific fields.
Fig.n.1: Structure of a fluorescent ligand.
How do Fluorescent Ligands Work?
Scientists use fluorescent ligands to study how proteins move and interact with other molecules. Without ligands, locating and monitoring these proteins would be very difficult, if not impossible. Fluorescent ligands can also allow researchers to visualize the distribution and movement of proteins inside cells and tissues. Biological molecules, such as proteins, are more easily monitored with fluorescent ligands because the ligands emit light when excited by a specific wavelength of light.
Applications of Fluorescent Ligands
There are numerous biological applications of fluorescent ligands, but ultimately they play a vital role in enabling scientists to study how cells and tissues work. Some of the key purposes of fluorescent ligands are drug discovery, non-invasive and live-cell imaging, studying protein interactions, and some of the below:
- Dual readout binding and function
- Flow cytometry
- Fluorescent microscopy
- Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS)
- High throughput screening
- Ligand-binding kinetics
- Monitoring protein localization
Using fluorescent ligands in various biological applications allows researchers to learn more about how molecules, tissues, and cells work, which is essential to understanding diseases and developing new treatments for them.
Benefits of Fluorescent Ligands
Using fluorescent ligands in the above applications greatly benefits understanding human health, diseases, and treatments. The advantages of fluorescent ligands are plentiful and primarily include enhanced safety in live-cell imaging and HTS. These ligands are non-toxic and versatile for a wide range of applications. Other benefits include the following:
- Compatible with HTS, FRET, and BRET
- High sensitivity and can detect small cellular changes
- Low to no risk
- Non-invasive and non-destructive
- No supply issues
- Suitable for real-time analysis
- Versatile and used with a range of instruments
These benefits are invaluable in deepening our understanding of biology and diseases and have made fluorescent ligands a crucial tool for medical researchers and biologists alike.
Celtarys and Fluorescent Ligand Technology
Celtarys are dedicated to providing innovative chemical tools and custom chemical development services to support high throughput screening (HTS) processes in the early stages of drug discovery. Our main technology is used to synthesize fluorescent ligands with outstanding performance characteristics, which can then be used in various biological assay applications.
Fluorescent ligand technology was developed to allow custom-made fluorescent ligands, which are environmentally friendly and cost-effective ligands for competitive binding assays compared to other available ligands. Fluorescent ligands are safe, efficient, and versatile options that are compatible with HTS, FRET (HTRF), and BRET, with no toxicity and security risks.
To learn more about how fluorescent ligands can enhance your drug discovery or chemical biology programs, contact a member of Celtarys today.