Selective catecholamine detection in living cells by a copper-mediated oxidative bond cleavage
The development of a new triggered-release system for selective detection of catecholamines in biological samples including living cells is reported. Catecholamines are a class of tightly regulated hormones and neurotransmitters in the human body and their dysregulation is implicated in various neurodegenerative diseases. It is highly challenging to selectively sense and detect catecholamines in a complex biological environment due to their small size, non-specific molecular shape and trivial chemical properties. In this study, a copper-based, catecholamine-triggered oxidation that releases a fluorescent reporter is described. The probe is highly sensitive and selective for detecting changes in catecholamine levels in aqueous buffer, human plasma, and cellular models of neuronal differentiation and Parkinson's disease. This new catecholamine sensing strategy features chemical reactivity as part of small molecule recognition as opposed to the conventional use of a well-designed host for reversible binding.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2019 Chemical Science HOT Article Collection