Rotaxane probes for protease detection by 129Xe hyperCEST NMR†
We report a CB6 rotaxane for the 129Xe hyperCEST NMR detection of matrix metalloprotease 2 (MMP-2) activity. MMP-2 is overexpressed in cancer tissue, and hence is a cancer marker. A peptide containing an MMP-2 recognition sequence was incorporated into the rotaxane, synthesized via CB6-promoted click chemistry. Upon cleavage of the rotaxane by MMP-2, CB6 became accessible for 129Xe@CB6 interactions, leading to protease-responsive hyperCEST activation.