Complexation of polymethine dyes with human serum albumin: a spectroscopic study

Alexander S Tatikolov, Sílvia M B Costa
Biophysical Chemistry 2004 January 1, 107 (1): 33-49
Non-covalent interactions between polymethine dyes of various types (cationic and anionic thiacarbocyanines as well as anionic oxonols and tetracyanopolymethines) and human serum albumin (HSA) were studied by means of absorption, fluorescence and circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopies. Complexation with the protein leads to a red shift of the dye absorption spectra and, in most cases, to a growth of the fluorescence quantum yield (Phif; for oxonols this growth is very small). The binding constants (K) obtained from changing the absorption spectra and Phif vary from 10(4) to (5-6) x 10(7) M(-1). K for the anionic dyes is much higher than for the cationic dyes (the highest K was found for oxonols). Interaction of meso-substituted anionic thiacarbocyanines with HSA results in cis-->trans isomerization and, as a consequence, an appearance and a steep rise of dye fluorescence. Binding to HSA gives rise to dye CD signals and in many cases is accompanied by aggregation of the dyes. These aggregates often exhibit biphasic CD spectra. The aggregates formed by the dyes alone are decomposed in the presence of HSA.

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