Ascent Scientific first to launch RuBi-Nicotine, a novel caged nicotine research tool

January 18, 2011 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
Bristol, UK - Ascent Scientific today announced that they have launched RuBi-Nicotine, a novel light-sensitive, caged ligand that will advance research into addiction, cognition and synaptic signaling.

Caged compounds consist of a bioactive molecule (the 'caged' compound) that is temporarily inactivated by being bound to a chemical group (the "cage" moiety). By breaking this bond with light, the bioactive molecule can be "uncaged" and activated.

RuBi-Nicotine is the most recently created caged molecule from the family of RuBi caged compounds, developed by Professor Roberto Etchenique from the University of Buenos Aires and Professor Rafael Yuste in the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. RuBi-Nicotine, licensed from Columbia University, is the first caged nicotine to be made commercially available. The compound has extremely fast uncaging kinetics, high water-solubility in physiological conditions, and can be activated by visible wavelengths of light. There is no need to use harmful UV light (which is deleterious to living tissues), the equipment does not require expensive quartz optics and uncaging can occur at much faster speeds due to the single photochemical step involved in the light-sensitive uncaging process.

Rafael Yuste comments, "RuBi-Nicotine is another breakthrough for the field. It enables the optical control of cholinergic transmission in the mammalian Central Nervous System, and will also be particularly important for Invertebrate Neuroscience, since it could allow the turning on of individual neurons or parts of the neurons, given that acetylcholine is the major excitatory transmitter in invertebrate preparations."

Steve Roome, Ascent Scientific's Commercial Director comments, "RuBi-Nicotine joins a growing toolbox of caged ligands that already includes RuBi-Glutamate, RuBi-GABA and RuBi-4AP, and that are suitable for use in optical experiments on living tissue. RuBi-Nicotine is the first commercially available caged nicotine and Ascent Scientific is delighted to be the first supplier to offer this to the life science community. We anticipate that this ground-breaking tool will greatly advance research in areas such as addiction and cognition."

Filevich, Salierno and Etchenique (2010) A caged nicotine with nanosecond range kinetics and visible light sensitivity. J Inorg Biochem 104:1248-51.

About Ascent Scientific
About Ascent Scientific Ascent Scientific offers a range of high quality receptor ligands and synthetic chemistry services at affordable prices. Our Low-Cost LigandsTM range of products includes receptor ligands and signaling tools for research in areas such as glutamate, GABA, ion channels, cannabinoids, opioids, 5-HT and more. We also offer cost-effective custom synthesis of a wide range of chemical entities, including organic molecules, fluorescent labels, standards and references, stable isotope labels, and receptor ligands. For more information please visit