Synthesis and Characterization of an Unnatural Fluorescent Amino Acid
Arts and Sciences
The goal of this project is to chemically synthesize a fluorescent amino acid that will later be used to build a protein that glows in the dark. Glow-in-the-dark proteins are of great value to biologists because fluorescent microscopy can then be used to observe the proten’s spatial and temporal location within a living cell. The specific objective of this project is to synthesize a 4-(N,N-dimethylamino) phthalimide-based environment-sensitive fluorescent amino acid. This will be accomplished by synthesizing two separate building blocks, 4-N,N-dimethylaminophthalic anhydride and allyl N-α-Fmoc-N-β-L-diaminopropionate, coupling them together and finally removing a protecting group. Standard spectroscopy methods (nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass spectroscopy (MS)) will be used to characterize the synthetic intermediates and the final product. As soon as this fluorescent amino acid is in hand, we will use a screening system to determine whether or not it can serve as a building block for proteins.
Trimoski, Blagojce and An, Yeongseo, "Synthesis and Characterization of an Unnatural Fluorescent Amino Acid" (2015). Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE). 446.