[7-(Dimethylamino)coumarin-4-yl]methyl (DMACM) and [7-(diethylamino)coumarin-4-yl]methyl (DEACM) esters of 8-bromoadenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (8-Br-cAMP) and 8-bromoguanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (8-Br-cGMP) are described as novel caged compounds for 8-bromo-substituted cyclic nucleotides. Synthesis is accomplished by treatment of the free acids of the cyclic nucleotides with the corresponding 7(dialkylamino)-substituted 4(diazomethyl)coumarins. Irradiation of the DMACM- and DEACM-caged cyclic nucleotides with UV light stimulates the release of the cyclic nucleotides within roughly a nanosecond. The new caged compounds are resistant to hydrolysis in aqueous buffers and exhibit long-wavelength absorption properties with maxima at 400 nm, high extinction coefficients, and high quantum yields (0.15-0.31). Their favorable properties render these compounds the most efficient and rapid phototriggers of 8-bromo-substituted cyclic nucleotides known. The usefulness of the compounds for physiological studies under nondamaging light conditions was examined in HEK293 cells expressing the alpha subunit of the cyclic-nucleotide-gated (CNG) channel of cone photoreceptors (CNGA3) and of olfactory neurons (CNGA2) by using confocal laser scanning microscopy and the patch clamp technique.