Deeply Inverted Electron-Hole Recombination in a Luminescent Antibody-Stilbene Complex

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Science  29 Feb 2008:
Vol. 319, Issue 5867, pp. 1232-1235
DOI: 10.1126/science.1153445

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The blue-emissive antibody EP2-19G2 that has been elicited against trans-stilbene has unprecedented ability to produce bright luminescence and has been used as a biosensor in various applications. We show that the prolonged luminescence is not stilbene fluorescence. Instead, the emissive species is a charge-transfer excited complex of an anionic stilbene and a cationic, parallel π-stacked tryptophan. Upon charge recombination, this complex generates exceptionally bright blue light. Complex formation is enabled by a deeply penetrating ligand-binding pocket, which in turn results from a noncanonical interface between the two variable domains of the antibody.

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