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Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Key Laboratory of Chemical Biology of Natural Products (MOE), School of Pharmacy, Shandong University, Shandong 250012, China
; Fax: +86-531-8838-2076
; Tel: +86-531-8838-2076
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2013,42, 662-676
09 Jul 2012,
First published online
26 Oct 2012
Bioluminescent imaging (BLI) has been widely applicable in the imaging of process envisioned in life sciences. As the most conventional technique for BLI, the firefly luciferin–luciferase system is exceptionally functional in vitro and in vivo. The state-of-the-art strategy in such a system is to cage the luciferin, in which free luciferin is conjugated with distinctive functional groups, thus accommodating an impressive toolkit for exploring various biological processes, such as monitoring enzymes activity, detecting bioactive small molecules, evaluating the properties of molecular transporters, etc. This review article summarizes the rational design of caged luciferins towards diverse biotargets, as well as their applications in bioluminescent imaging. It should be emphasized that these caged luciferins can stretch out the applications of bioluminescence imaging and shed light upon understanding the pathogenesis of various diseases.
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