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IIM Designed Reversible Fluorescent Probe for Selective Detection and Cell Imaging of Oxidative Stress Indicator Bisulfite
Author: ZHANG Yajiao, YU Huan
Update time: 2016-05-06
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The excessive sulfur dioxide and bisulfites in the environment can not only cause aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems damage like acid rain, but also impact the respiratory system of human and even cause severe adverse effects and acute symptoms. In biosystems, bisulfite and sulfur dioxide can be endogenously generated through the oxidation of intracellular hydrogen sulfide or sulfur containing amino acids. Pathological studies have found that the concentrations of bisulfites would rise significantly in pneumonia and chronic renal failure patients. Therefore, it is of great importance to develop a selective and sensitive fluorescent probe for the detection of sulfur dioxide and its derivatives bisulfite in the point view of environmental protection, food safety and some related diseases study.

To develop an analytical method for quickly and selectively monitoring the SO2/ROS redox cycle and visual detection of environmental sulfur dioxide, the group led by Prof. WANG Suhua from Institute of Intelligent Machines (IIM) designed and synthesized a reversible and ratiometric fluorescent probe HBT-Cy for bisulfites. In aqueous solution, the probe can react with bisulfites through nucleophilic addition and lead to the fluorescence color changes from rose red to blue, which can be clearly observed under a 365 nm UV lamp. Upon treatment with hydrogen peroxide, the original probe HBT-Cy could be restored, leading to a turn-on of the red fluorescence. The reversible reduction-oxidation cycle could be repeated and still maintained the reactivity and spectral properties. The cell imaging experiments suggested that HBT-Cy could sense exogenous and endogenous bisulfite as well as possess the redox activity in biological system. This is indicative of its potential to be used for monitor cell oxidative stress in the process of imaging research.

This work was mainly performed by ZHANG Yajiao, YU Huan, SUN Mingtai, etc. and cooperated with other institutes including Institute of Chemistry and National University of Singapore. The research was published in Analytical Chemistry, (,88:4426−4431




  Figure: The schematic diagram of probe with its structure, recognition principle and reversible fluorescence signal changes in cell imaging.


  Title: Reversible Fluorescent Probe for Selective Detection and Cell Imaging of Oxidative Stress Indicator Bisulfite


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  Keywords: Fluorescent Probe; Bisulfit; Ratiometric; Sulfur Dioxide; Oxidative Stress



  Prof. Wang Suhua, Ph. D

  Institute of Intelligent Machines, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei 230031, China.  (

  Tel: 86-551-6559-1812






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