We describe a series of new long-wave absorbing and fluorescing cyanine dyes and labels (based on a general logic for the design of such dyes), their spectra, covalent and noncovalent linkage to proteins, their use in single molecule detection (SMD) and as donors and acceptors, respectively, in fluorescence resonance energy transfer studies. The new labels represent water-soluble and reactive fluorophores whose quantum yields increase substantially if noncovalently or covalently bound to proteins. Due to their strong absorptions between 550 and 700 nm they are excitable by light-emitting diodes or diode lasers. Their high absorbances (ε around 100 000) and adequate fluorescence quantum yields (ϕ up to 0.68 if bound to proteins) along with their availability as reactive NHS esters make them viable labels for proteins and oligomers, e.g. in context with SMD or fluorescence energy transfer immunoassay which is demonstrated for the system HSA/anti-HSA.
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Vol. 74 • No. 2