Aminopeptidase N Activatable Fluorescent Probe for Tracking Metastatic Cancer and Image-Guided Surgery via in Situ Spraying

Haidong Li, Qichao Yao, Wen Sun, Kun Shao, Yang Lu, Jeewon Chung, Dayeh Kim, Jiangli Fan, Saran Long, Jianjun Du, Yueqing Li, Jingyun Wang, Juyoung Yoon, Xiaojun Peng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


The recurrence of malignant tumors is mostly caused by incompleted surgical resection. Especially, it is difficult for surgeons to detect and accurately remove metastatic tumors by predominantly using visual examination and palpation owing to the lack of effective means to specifically distinguish the boundary range between normal and tumor tissues. Thus, the development of activated fluorescent probe with superior tumor-to-normal (T/N) tissue ratios is particularly urgent in clinics. In view of CD13/aminopeptidase N (APN) regarded as a cancer-specific biomarker, mediating with progression, invasion, and migration of malignant tumor, herein, we reported an APN-responsive fluorescent probe YH-APN and demonstrated its application to distinguish cancer cells. Through in situ spraying manner, fluorescent superior tumor-to-normal (T/N) tissue ratios (subcutaneous transplantation tumor, 13.86; hepatic metastasis, 4.42 and 6.25; splenic metastasis, 4.99) were achieved. More importantly, we have demonstrated the ability to image metastasis tumor tissue less than 1 mm in diameter, highlighting the potential for this probe to be used as a tool in surgical resection. This research may spur the use of enzyme-activatable fluorescent probes for the progress of tumor diagnosis and image-guided surgery (IGS).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6381-6389
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number13
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2020


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