Application of biotin-4-fluorescein in homogeneous fluorescence assays for avidin, streptavidin, and biotin or biotin derivatives. Academic Article uri icon


  • Biotin-4-fluorescein (B4F) is a convenient molecular probe for (strept)avidin and for unlabeled biotin in homogeneous fluorescence assays. The primary standard is a 16 microM working solution of d-biotin which is used to titrate an aliquot of a (strept)avidin stock solution while monitoring the tryptophane fluorescence of (strept)avidin. This serves to standardize the (strept)avidin stock solution, an aliquot of which is then titrated with a roughly 16 microM working solution of B4F while monitoring the fluorescence of B4F. Specific binding is accompanied by quenching, but after saturation of all binding sites, the appearance of free ligand causes a sharp rise of intense fluorescence, the beginning of which allows to calculate the effective concentration of B4F in the working solution. Measurement of avidin in a crude sample is exemplified by mixing 8 pmol of B4F with various amounts of diluted egg white in a volume of 1 mL. Hereby, the extent of fluorescence quenching linearly correlates with the concentration of functional avidin. Moreover, a sharp minimum of fluorescence is observed when exactly 2 pmol of avidin is present in the sample. The latter assay has been adapted to measure between 0.5 and 5 pmol of d-biotin in 1 mL of sample by adding 1.9 pmol of avidin and 8 pmol of B4F. This competitive assay correctly measures the small dose of d-biotin in multivitamin tablets (e.g., 150 microg in 5 g of solid) after subtracting the background fluorescence of the colored aqueous solution.

published proceedings

  • Methods Mol Biol

author list (cited authors)

  • Ebner, A., Marek, M., Kaiser, K., Kada, G., Hahn, C. D., Lackner, B., & Gruber, H. J.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Ebner, Andreas||Marek, Markus||Kaiser, Karl||Kada, Gerald||Hahn, Christoph D||Lackner, Bernd||Gruber, Hermann J

publication date

  • January 2008