Visible Light-Initiated Bioorthogonal Photoclick Cycloaddition

J Am Chem Soc. 2018 Nov 7;140(44):14542-14546. doi: 10.1021/jacs.8b08175. Epub 2018 Oct 26.


Here we report a visible light-triggered, catalyst free bioorthogonal reaction that proceeds via a distinct pathway from reported bioorthogonal reactions. The prototype of this bioorthogonal reaction was the photocycloaddition of 9,10-phenanthrenequinone with electron-rich alkenes to form fluorogenic [4+2] cycloadducts. The bioorthogonal photoclick cycloaddition was readily initiated using a conventional visible light source such as a hand-held LED lamp. The reaction proceeded rapidly under biocompatible conditions, without observable competition from side reactions such as nucleophilic additions by water or common nucleophilic species. The bioorthogonal functionality in this reaction did not cross react with various alkynes and electron-deficient alkenes such as monomethyl fumarate. We demonstrated orthogonal labeling of two proteins using this reaction together with a strain promoting azide-alkyne click reaction or the UV-triggered reaction of tetrazole with monomethyl fumarate. The application of this reaction in the temporal and spatial labeling of live cells was also demonstrated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't