A sensitive and selective red fluorescent probe for imaging of cysteine in living cells and animals
Cysteine (Cys) is one of the important semi-essential amino acids, which often participates in many enzymatic reactions and has lots of biological functions. Herein, we present a sensitive and selective red fluorescent probe (RCys) for detecting Cys in living cells and animals. RCys utilized a rhodamine derivative as the fluorescent platform, and employed acrylate as the response site for Cys. When RCys responded to Cys, a significant turn-on red fluorescence at 638 nm was observed. RCys displayed obvious fluorescence response to Cys in a short time, and exhibited favorable selectivity to Cys over other thiols including GSH and Hcy. The biological applications demonstrated that RCys can be applied for the imaging of Cys in living cells and animals.