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Keywords:

  • DNA recognition;
  • fluorescent probes;
  • ligand design;
  • noncovalent interactions;
  • nucleobases
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Bind it! A ratiometric fluorescent probe based on conjugation of a DNA-binding ligand with an environmentally sensitive dye to probe hydrophobic grooves of the DNA helix was developed. The resulting conjugate ATMND–DBD can bind to an orphan nucleobase opposite an abasic (AP) site with high selectivity and affinity for pyrimidine bases (see figure).