Now, a group of Scripps Research scientists have shown that EP2-19G2, one of a panel of fluorescent monoclonal antibodies that were first reported in 2000, produces its distinctive bright blue glow through a rare and highly complex recombination of electrical charge.
This charge recombination involves an electron holethe gap left by the electron as it is transferred from one molecule to the other.
The new study was published in the February 29, 2008 edition (Volume 319, Number 5867) of the journal Science.
Our study describes in detail the rare and rather surprising mechanism that creates this exceptionally bright and long-lasting fluorescent antibody, said Richard Lerner, president of The Scripps Research Institute, Lita Annenberg Hazen Professor of Immunochemistry, and member of the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at Scripps Research. These findings could have wide application in the development of novel and more broadly applicable biosensors.
Biosensors, which relay biological reactions such as ligand binding and antibody-antigen actions into detectable signals, have a variety of uses, from signaling the presence of pathogens and toxins to monitoring blood glucose levels for diabetic patients.
When the monoclonal antibody EP2-19G2 is combined with stilbene, a hydrocarbon commonly used in making dyes, it emits an intense blue light after exposure to ultraviolet light. While other antibody-stilbene complexes have also shown the ability to produce purple, blue-purple, and blue fluorescence after UV exposure, their fluorescent effect has been relatively weak and short lived.
The luminescence produced by the EP2-19G2-stilbene complex lasts more than 400 times longer than that of stilbene on its own, said Erik Debler, the first author of the new study and a former graduate student of Professor Ian Wilsons laboratory at Scripps Research. This is probably the longest luminescence lifetime that has ever bee
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Scripps Research Institute