The development of simple and sensitive small-molecule fluorescent probes for the detection of serum proteins after native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis†
In this paper, a simple and sensitive small-molecule fluorescent probe, 2,5-dihydroxy-4′-dimethylaminochalcone (DHDMAC), was designed and synthesized for the detection of human serum proteins via hydrophobic interactions after polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE). This probe produced lower fluorescence emission in the absence of proteins, and the emission intensity was significantly increased after the interaction with serum proteins. To demonstrate the imaging performance of this probe as a fluorescent dye, a series of experiments was conducted that included sensitivity comparison and 2D-PAGE. The results indicated that the sensitivity of DHDMAC staining is comparable to that of the most widely used fluorescent dye, SYPRO Ruby, and more protein spots (including thyroxine-binding globulin, angiotensinogen, afamin, zinc-α-2-glycoprotein and α-1-antichymotrypsin) were detected after 2D-PAGE. Therefore, DHDMAC is a good protein reporter due to its fast staining procedure, low detection limits and high resolution.