Synthesis of an Unnatural Fluorescent Amino Acid

Faculty Sponsor

Thomas Goyne


Arts and Sciences



Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 5-3-2019


The long-term goal of this project is to chemically synthesize an unnatural fluorescent amino acid (UFAA) that can later be used to build glow-in-the-dark proteins. UFAAs allow the visualization of a single protein in an otherwise transparent living cell. The specific objective of this project is to synthesize a 4-(N,N-dimethylamino)phthalimide-based environment-sensitive fluorescent amino acid. The first part of this synthesis was the preparation of an anhydride (4-Methyl-Aminophthalic Anhydride), which was then coupled with commercially-available Boc-Dap-OtBu Hydrochloride. Finally, trifluoroacetic acid was used to remove the protecting groups, yielding the desired product. The product was characterized using 1H and 13C NMR, and Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS). The remaining tasks include improving the purification and percent yield.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Moriah Carmel is a Senior Chemistry Major from La Porte, IN

Hannah Laatsch is a Senior Chemistry Major from Janesville, WI

For Artistic Presentations

has 2 posters. please place side by side

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