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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 investigators to visualize a single protein in an otherwise transparent living cell. The specific UFAA target for this project is L-alanine, 3-[7-nitro-2,1,3-benzoxadiazol-4-yl], which is an analog of the natural amino acid tryptophan. This synthesis consists of a coupling reaction followed by a deprotection reaction. Products have been characterized using 1H and 13C NMR, and Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS). Future tasks could include optimizing the yield and purity of this UFAA.
Johnson, Madeline J. and Goyne, Thomas, "Synthesis of an Unnatural Fluorescent Amino Acid" (2018). Fall Interdisciplinary Research Symposium. 100.
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