Lucifer yellow

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Lucifer yellow
Lucifer yellow.svg
IUPAC name
dilithium 6-Amino-2-(hydrazinecarbonyl)-1,3-dioxobenzo[de]isoquinoline-5,8-disulfonate
3D model (JSmol)
Molar mass 444.24 g·mol−1
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

Lucifer yellow is a fluorescent dye used in cell biology.[1] The key property of Lucifer yellow is that it can readily visualized in both living and fixed cells using a fluorescence microscope. Lucifer yellow was invented by Walter W. Stewart at the National Institutes of Health and patented in 1978.[2]


For common usage it is compounded with carbohydrazide (CH) and prepared as a lithium salt. The CH group allows it to be covalently linked to surrounding biomolecules during aldehyde fixation.[3]

Other cations such as ammonium or potassium can be used when lithium is undesirable, but the resulting salts are less soluble in water.

Lucifer yellow can also be compounded as a vinyl sulfone, with ethylenediamine, or with cadaverine. [clarification needed]


  1. ^ Hanani, Menachem (January 2012). "Lucifer yellow – an angel rather than the devil". Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. 16 (2): 22–31. doi:10.1111/j.1582-4934.2011.01378.x. PMC 3823090Freely accessible. PMID 21740513. 
  2. ^ Patent description
  3. ^ "Lucifer Yellow CH, Lithium Salt". Molecular Probes. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 

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