Identification of Thioflavin T Binding Modes to DNA: A Structure-Specific Molecular Probe for Lasing Applications
Journal article, 2021

The binding mechanism of thioflavin T (ThT) to DNA was studied using polarized light spectroscopy and fluorescence-based techniques in solutions and in solid films. Linear dichroism measurements showed that ThT binds to DNA duplex by intercalation. Time-resolved fluorescence studies revealed a second binding mode which is the external binding to the DNA phosphate groups. Both binding modes represent the nonspecific type of interactions. The studies were complemented with the analysis of short oligonucleotides having DNA cavities. The results indicate that the interplay between three binding modes-intercalation, external binding, and binding inside DNA cavities-determines the effective fluorescence quantum yield of the dye in the DNA structures. External binding was found to be responsible for fluorescence quenching because of energy transfer between intercalated and externally bound molecules. Finally, amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) was successfully generated in the ThT-stained films and used for detecting different DNA structures. ASE measurements show that ThT-stained DNA structures can be used for designing bioderived microlasers.


Piotr Hanczyc

University of Warsaw

P. Rajchel-Mieldzioć

University of Warsaw

Bobo Feng

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Biochemistry

P. Fita

University of Warsaw

Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters

1948-7185 (eISSN)

Vol. 12 22 5436-5442

Subject Categories

Physical Chemistry

Other Basic Medicine






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