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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2015 Dec 30;7(51):28474-81. doi: 10.1021/acsami.5b09573. Epub 2015 Dec 18.

A Two-Photon Ratiometric Fluorescent Probe for Imaging Carboxylesterase 2 in Living Cells and Tissues.

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Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences , Dalian 116023, China.
State Key Laboratory of Fine Chemicals, Dalian University of Technology , Dalian 116012, China.
Key Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry for Biology and Medicine (Ministry of Education), College of Chemistry and Molecular Sciences, Wuhan University , Wuhan 430072, China.


In this study, a two-photon ratiometric fluorescent probe NCEN has been designed and developed for highly selective and sensitive sensing of human carboxylesterase 2 (hCE2) based on the catalytic properties and substrate preference of hCE2. Upon addition of hCE2, the probe could be readily hydrolyzed to release 4-amino-1,8-naphthalimide (NAH), which brings remarkable red-shift in fluorescence (90 nm) spectrum. The newly developed probe exhibits good specificity, ultrahigh sensitivity, and has been successfully applied to determine the real activities of hCE2 in complex biological samples such as cell and tissue preparations. NCEN has also been used for two-photon imaging of intracellular hCE2 in living cells as well as in deep-tissues for the first time, and the results showed that the probe exhibited high ratiometric imaging resolution and deep-tissue imaging depth. All these findings suggested that this probe holds great promise for applications in bioimaging of endogenous hCE2 in living cells and in exploring the biological functions of hCE2 in complex biological systems.


bioimaging; carboxylesterase 2; ratiometric fluorescent probe; specific sensing; two-photon

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