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X Zhang, C Ren, F Hu, Y Gao, Z Wang, H Li, J Liu, B Liu and C Yang
Abstract
Abnormal levels of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity are associated with various diseases, and many ALP probes have been developed to date. However, the development of ALP-sensitive probes for living cells, especially for the detection of bacterial ALP, remains challenging because of the complex and dynamic context. In this study, we constructed the first fluorescent probe (TPEPy-pY) for sensing bacterial ALP activity. TPEPy-pY is an AIEgen-peptide conjugate with property of aggregation-induced emission (AIE) and could turn on its fluorescence by ALP-catalyzed in situ self-assembly of the probe. The probe shows excellent selectivity and sensitivity for ALP activity, with a detection limit of 6.6 × 10-3 U mL-1. TPEPy-pY performs well in detection and in situ imaging of bacterial ALP activity against E. coli. Also, the detection does not require tedious washing steps and takes approximately 1 h, which is advantageous over commercial ALP kits. Therefore, the proposed strategy paved a new avenue for bacterial ALP detection, and we envision that more self-assembling fluorescent probes will be designed with higher sensitivity in the near future.
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