A novel highly sensitive fluorescent probe for bioimaging biothiols and its applications in distinguishing cancer cells from normal cells†
In recent years, targeting drugs made by physical loading or chemical bonding of drugs on small molecular carriers have shown a very wide application prospect in the field of tumor and cancer treatment. How to achieve the release of drugs in cancer cells has become the core of this research. One of the most important bases for drug localization is to use the difference of small molecular biothiol concentration between cancer cells and normal cells. Details of the changes of biothiol levels in the growth and reproduction of cancer cells are still poorly understood, and the main reason is the lack of sensitive real-time imaging tools for biothiols in cancer cells. In this work, we reasonably designed and synthesized the combination of 4-hydroxy-1,8-naphthalimide and NBD-Cl as a concise fluorescent probe HN-NBD for imaging biothiols in live cells and zebrafish. In addition, due to the advantages of HN-NBD design, it is sufficiently sensitive to biothiols, and further imaging can distinguish cancer cells from normal cells. Probe HN-NBD would be of great significance to biomedical researchers for the study of biothiol-related diseases, the screening of new anticancer drugs, and the early diagnosis and treatment of cancers.