Journal of Biomedical OpticsMultiphoton excitation of fluorescent DNA base analogs
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Multiphoton excitation was used to investigate properties of the fluorescent DNA base analogs, 2-aminopurine (2AP) and 6-methylisoxanthopterin (6MI). 2-aminopurine, a fluorescent analog of adenine, was excited by three-photon absorption. Fluorescence correlation measurements were attempted to evaluate the feasibility of using three-photon excitation of 2AP for DNA-protein interaction studies. However, high excitation power and long integration times needed to acquire high signal-to-noise fluorescence correlation curves render three-photon excitation FCS of 2AP not very useful for studying DNA base dynamics. The fluorescence properties of 6-methylisoxanthopterin, a guanine analog, were investigated using two-photon excitation. The two-photon absorption cross-section of 6MI was estimated to be about 2.5×10–50 cm4s (2.5 GM units) at 700 nm. The two-photon excitation spectrum was measured in the spectral region from 700 to 780 nm; in this region the shape of the two-photon excitation spectrum is very similar to the shape of single-photon excitation spectrum in the near-UV spectral region. Two-photon excitation of 6MI is suitable for fluorescence correlation measurements. Such measurements can be used to study DNA base dynamics and DNA-protein interactions over a broad range of time scales.