Membrane-Permeant, Bioactivatable Coumarin Derivatives for In-Cell Labelling

Madeleine Schultz, Rainer Müller, Yulia Ermakova, Jan Erik Hoffmann, Carsten Schultz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The delivery of small molecule fluorophores with minimal compartmentalization is currently one of the most critical technical problems in intracellular labelling. Here we introduce sulfonated and phosphonated coumarin dyes, demonstrate rapid cell entry via a prodrug approach, and show a lack of interaction with membranes, organelles, or other compartments. The dyes show no specific localization and are evenly distributed in the cells. Our fluorogenic, clickable phosphonate derivatives successfully tagged model targets in intact cells and the increase in brightness upon click reaction was around 60-fold.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere202100699
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 18 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • cellular location
  • click chemistry
  • fluorogenic dyes
  • live-cell imaging
  • membrane permeable dyes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Organic Chemistry


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