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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Identification of a fluorescent general anesthetic, 1-aminoanthracene.


PMID 19346473

Abstract

We identified a fluorophore, 1-aminoanthracene (1-AMA), that is anesthetic, potentiates GABAergic transmission, and gives an appropriate dissociation constant, K(d) approximately 0.1 mM, for binding to the general anesthetic site in horse spleen apoferritin (HSAF). 1-AMA fluorescence is enhanced when bound to HSAF. Thus, displacement of 1-AMA from HSAF by other anesthetics attenuates the fluorescence signal and allows determination of K(d), as validated by isothermal titration calorimetry. This provides a unique fluorescence assay for compound screening and anesthetic discovery. Additional electrophysiology experiments in isolated cells indicate that 1-AMA potentiates chloride currents elicited by GABA, similar to many general anesthetics. Furthermore, 1-AMA reversibly immobilizes stage 45-50 Xenopus laevis tadpoles (EC(50) = 16 microM) and fluorescence micrographs show 1-AMA localized to brain and olfactory regions. Thus, 1-AMA provides an unprecedented opportunity for studying general anesthetic distribution in vivo at the cellular and subcellular levels.

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