Phosphorescent inner filter effect-based sensing of xanthine oxidase and its inhibitors with Mn-doped ZnS quantum dots†
Overexpression and crystallization of uric acid have been recognized as the course of hyperuricemia and gout, which is produced via xanthine oxidase (XOD)-catalyzed oxidation of xanthine. Therefore, the medicinal therapy of hyperuricemia and gout is majorly based on the inhibition of the XOD enzymatic pathway. The spectroscopic nature of xanthine and uric acid, namely both absorption (near the ultraviolet region) and emission (non-fluorescent) characteristics, hinders optical assay development for XOD analysis. Therefore, the state-of-the-art analysis of XOD and the screening of XOD inhibitors are majorly based on chromatography. Here, we found the near ultraviolet absorption of uric acid overlapped well with the absorption of a large bandgap semiconductor quantum dots, ZnS. On the other hand, the intrinsic weak fluorescence of ZnS QDs can be substantially improved via transition metal ion doping. Therefore, herein, we developed an inner filter effect-based assay for XOD analysis and inhibitor screening with Mn-doped ZnS QDs. The phosphorescence of Mn-doped ZnS QDs could be quenched by uric acid generated from xanthine catabolism by XOD, leading to the phosphorescence turn-off detection of XOD with a limit of detection (3σ) of 0.02 U L−1. Furthermore, the existence of XOD inhibitors could inhibit the XOD enzymatic reaction, resulting in weakened phosphorescence quenching. Therefore, the proposed assay could also be explored for the facile screening analysis of XOD inhibitors, which is important for the potential medicinal therapy of hyperuricemia and gout.