Bioluminescence imaging of carbon monoxide in living cells based on a selective deiodination reaction†
D-Luciferin is a popular bioluminescent substrate of luciferase in the presence of ATP. It is used in luciferase-based bioluminescence imaging and cell-based high-throughput screening applications. Herein, the iodination of D-luciferin was undertaken and explored as a bioluminescence probe without the need for light excitation to sensitively trace and image carbon monoxide (CO) in liver cancer cells. The bioluminescent probe (7′-iodo-luciferin) exhibited excellent selectivity for CO detection in vitro. This new probe could image exogenous and endogenous CO in the luciferase-transfected cancer cells. This new probe might be used for evaluating the roles of CO in various biological processes.