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Nat Protoc. 2018 Oct;13(10):2348-2361. doi: 10.1038/s41596-018-0041-6.

Synthesis of an ultrasensitive BODIPY-derived fluorescent probe for detecting HOCl in live cells.

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State Key Laboratory of Fine Chemicals, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, China.
Department of Synthetic Chemistry and Biological Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.
State Key Laboratory of Fine Chemicals, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, China.


Hypochlorous acid (HOCl) is a critical member of the reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced by immune cells to fight infections. On the other hand, HOCl in homeostasis causes oxidative damage to biomolecules and is linked to many diseases, including inflammatory, neurodegenerative, and cardiovascular diseases. Herein, we detail a procedure for the preparation of a boron-dipyrromethene (BODIPY)-derived fluorescent probe for HOCl (BClO) and its application as an imaging reagent in living cells. BClO is synthesized in one pot through a four-step procedure that is nearly the same as that for conventional BODIPY dye preparation, except for the ratio of starting materials. BClO has an extremely rapid response (saturated within seconds) and is ultrasensitive to HOCl. The detection limit of BClO reaches the subnanomolar range, which is the highest HOCl sensitivity to date. Taking advantage of the ultrasensitive character of BClO, we have previously demonstrated its ability to detect endogenous HOCl generated by macrophages and shown that it can also be used to discriminate cancer cell lines (which show high HOCl production) from non-cancer cell lines (which show low HOCl production). The protocol requires ~2 d for probe synthesis and up to ~18 h for fluorescence imaging and flow cytometry assays.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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