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Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2012 Jun 1;22(11):3632-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2012.04.055. Epub 2012 Apr 19.

A specific molecular beacon probe for the detection of human prostate cancer cells.

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Department of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN 37614, United States.


The small-molecule, water-soluble molecular beacon probe 1 is hydrolyzed by the lysate and living cells of human prostate cancer cell lines (LNCaP), resulting in strong green fluorescence. In contrast, probe 1 does not undergo significant hydrolysis in either the lysate or living cells of human nontumorigenic prostate cells (RWPE-1). These results, corroborated by UV-Vis spectroscopy and fluorescent microscopy, reveal that probe 1 is a sensitive and specific fluorogenic and chromogenic sensor for the detection of human prostate cancer cells among nontumorigenic prostate cells and that carboxylesterase activity is a specific biomarker for human prostate cancer cells.

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