Nucleoside-Based Diarylethene Photoswitches and Their Facile Incorporation into Photoswitchable DNA


  • H.C. is grateful for a postdoctoral fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt foundation.


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Come into the light: Pyrimidine nucleosides were found to undergo fast and reversible ring closure upon irradiation with light when covalently attached to 2-[2-methyl-5-phenylthien-3-yl]cyclopent-1-ene (see scheme). Synthesis using an aqueous-phase Suzuki–Miyaura cross-coupling allows for one-step conversion of iodo-modified oligonucleotides into fully reversible DNA photoswitches.