4-Chloro-l-kynurenine as fluorescent amino acid in natural peptides
4-Chloro-l-kynurenine (3-(4-chloroanthraniloyl)-l-alanine, l-4-ClKyn), an amino acid known as a prospective antidepressant, was recently for the first time found in nature in the lipopeptide antibiotic taromycin. Here, we report another instance of its identification in a natural product: 4-chloro-l-kynurenine was isolated from acidic hydrolysis of a new complex peptide antibiotic INA-5812. l-4-ClKyn is a fluorescent compound responsible for the fluorescence of the above antibiotic. Whereas fluorescence of 4-chlorokynurenine was not reported before, we synthesized the racemic compound and studied its emission in various solvents. Next, we prepared conjugates of dl-4-ClKyn with two suitable energy acceptors, BODIPY FL and 3-(phenylethynyl)perylene (PEPe), and studied fluorescence of the derivatives. 4-Chloro-dl-kynurenine emission is not detected in both conjugates, thus evidencing effective energy transfer. However, BODIPY FL emission in the conjugate is substantially reduced, probably due to collisional or photoinduced charge-transfer-mediated quenching. The intrinsic fluorescence of l-4-ClKyn amino acid in antibiotics paves the way for spectral studies of their mode of action.