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Anal Chem. 2016 Mar 15;88(6):3400-5. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.6b00178. Epub 2016 Mar 3.

Highly Selective Fluorescent Turn-On Probe for Protein Thiols in Biotin Receptor-Positive Cancer Cells.

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Shanghai Key Laboratory of Functional Materials Chemistry, School of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology , Shanghai, 200237, China.
School of Pharmacy, East China University of Science and Technology , Shanghai, 200237, China.


Sulfhydryl-containing proteins play critical roles in various physiological and biological processes, and the activities of those proteins have been reported to be susceptible to thiol oxidation. Therefore, the development of protein thiol target fluorescent probe is highly desirable. In the present work, a biotinylated coumarin fluorescence "off-on" probe SQ for selectively detecting protein thiols in biotin receptor-positive cancer cells was designed with a 2,4-dinitrobenzenesulfony as the thiol receptor. The probe exhibited dramatic fluorescence responses toward sulfhydryl-containing proteins (ovalbumin (OVA), bovine serum albumin (BSA)): up to 170-fold fluorescence enhancement with 70 nm blue-shift was observed with the addition of OVA. However, low molecular weight thiols (Cys, glutathione (GSH), Hcy) caused negligible fluorescence changes of SQ. In addition, biotin receptor-positive Hela cells displayed strong red and green fluorescence after incubation of SQ for 1 h; neither red nor green fluorescence signal could be visualized in biotin-negative normal lung Wi38 cells. These results imply that the probe has potential application in fluorescent imaging protein thiols on the surface of Hela cells.

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