Azobenzene is a photosensitive chemical that can switch between the cis and trans formations upon the presence of light at differing wavelengths. Azobenzene can convert from trans to cis in the presence of ultraviolet light, or cis to trans in the presence of blue light of the visible spectrum. The use of such photosensitive properties has been to construct photoswitch tethered ligands to turn protein activity on and off. The compound has been used to drastically increase the extracellular or intracellular concentration of active molecules to study the mechanism of action of sympathetic and parasympathetic neuromediators.
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