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Methods Enzymol. 2013;526:19-43. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-405883-5.00002-8.

Boronate-based fluorescent probes: imaging hydrogen peroxide in living systems.

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Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA.


Hydrogen peroxide, a reactive oxygen species with unique chemical properties, is produced endogenously in living systems as a destructive oxidant to ward off pathogens or as a finely tuned second messenger in dynamic cellular signaling pathways. In order to understand the complex roles that hydrogen peroxide can play in biological systems, new tools to monitor hydrogen peroxide in its native settings, with high selectivity and sensitivity, are needed. Knowledge of organic synthetic reactivity provides the foundation for the molecular design of selective, functional hydrogen peroxide probes. A palette of fluorescent and luminescent probes that react chemoselectively with hydrogen peroxide has been developed, utilizing a boronate oxidation trigger. These indicators offer a variety of colors and in cellulo characteristics and have been used to examine hydrogen peroxide in a number of experimental setups, including in vitro fluorometry, confocal fluorescence microscopy, and flow cytometry. In this chapter, we provide an overview of the chemical features of these probes and information on their behavior to help researchers select the optimal probe and application.

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