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Analyst. 2013 Apr 7;138(7):1952-5. doi: 10.1039/c3an36807f. Epub 2013 Feb 19.

A novel near-infrared fluorescent probe for selectively sensing nitroreductase (NTR) in an aqueous medium.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Beijing Key Laboratory of Microanalytical Methods and Instrumentation, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, PR China.


A novel near-infrared (NIR) fluorescent probe based on cyanine dyes was designed and synthesized to detect nitroreductase (NTR) activity. Upon reaction with NTR, the nitro-group of p-nitrobenzyl moiety was reduced to amino-group and therefore renews the π-electron conjugation of the dye, resulting in the intense NIR fluorescent emission (708 nm). This redox-induced NIR-fluorescence probe has been successfully applied to the detection of NTR activity under physiological conditions with high selectivity.

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