A novel detection system using both emission energy transfer and time-resolved fluorometry (TRF) was developed, with a europium chelate as the energy donor and a novel fluorophore SNR1, excitable with long-wavelength light corresponding to europium emission, as the energy acceptor. When the donor and acceptor molecules were mixed in solution, energy transfer was observed without direct attachment of the donor and the acceptor, via a diffusion-enhanced energy-transfer mechanism. Thus, the acceptor emission can be detected as a long-lifetime fluorescence in TRF. When the fluorescence properties of the acceptor molecule are changed by interaction with an enzyme or other bioactive molecule, the change can be detected as a long-lived sensitized emission. If we develop or select suitable acceptor molecules, this simple and convenient system should be applicable to a wide variety of bioactive molecules. Since it is based on TRF, it can be used for high-resolution assay.
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