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Journal of the American Chemical Society

Reversible off-on fluorescence probe for hypoxia and imaging of hypoxia-normoxia cycles in live cells.


PMID 23157219

Abstract

We report a fully reversible off-on fluorescence probe for hypoxia. The design employs QSY-21 as a Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) acceptor and cyanine dye Cy5 as a FRET donor, based on our finding that QSY-21 undergoes one-electron bioreduction to the radical under hypoxia, with an absorbance decrease at 660 nm. At that point, FRET can no longer occur, and the dye becomes strongly fluorescent. Upon recovery of normoxia, the radical is immediately reoxidized to QSY-21, with loss of fluorescence due to restoration of FRET. We show that this probe, RHyCy5, can monitor repeated hypoxia-normoxia cycles in live cells.