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Type: Journal article
Title: A rationally designed reversible 'turn-off' sensor for glutathione
Author: Heng, S.
Zhang, X.
Pei, J.
Abell, A.
Citation: Biosensors, 2017; 7(3):1-13
Publisher: MDPI
Issue Date: 2017
ISSN: 2079-6374
Statement of
Sabrina Heng, Xiaozhou Zhang, Jinxin Pei and Andrew D. Abell
Abstract: γ-Glutamyl-cysteinyl-glycine (GSH) plays a critical role in maintaining redox homeostasis in biological systems and a decrease in its cellular levels is associated with diseases. Existing fluorescence-based chemosensors for GSH acts as irreversible reaction-based probes that exhibit a maximum fluorescence ('turn-on') once the reaction is complete, regardless of the actual concentration of GSH. A reversible, reaction-based 'turn-off' probe ( 1 ) is reported here to sense the decreasing levels of GSH, a situation known to occur at the onset of various diseases. The more fluorescent merocyanine (MC) isomer of 1 exists in aqueous solution and this reacts with GSH to induce formation of the ring-closed spiropyran (SP) isomer, with a measurable decrease in absorbance and fluorescence ('turn-off'). Sensor 1 has good aqueous solubility and shows an excellent selectivity for GSH over other biologically relevant metal ions and aminothiol analytes. The sensor permeates HEK 293 cells and an increase in fluorescence is observed on adding buthionine sulfoximine, an inhibitor of GSH synthesis.
Keywords: fluorescent sensor; intracellular sensing; photoswitch; reduced glutathione; reversible sensor; spiropyran; turn-off sensor
Rights: © 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
RMID: 0030075415
DOI: 10.3390/bios7030036
Grant ID:
Appears in Collections:Chemistry and Physics publications

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