An Activatable AIEgen Probe for High-Fidelity Monitoring of Overexpressed Tumor Enzyme Activity and Its Application to Surgical Tumor Excision

Haidong Li, Qichao Yao, Feng Xu, Yueqing Li, Dayeh Kim, Jeewon Chung, Gain Baek, Xiaofeng Wu, Prima Fitria Hillman, Eun Young Lee, Haoying Ge, Jiangli Fan, Jingyun Wang, Sang Jip Nam, Xiaojun Peng, Juyoung Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations

Abstract

Monitoring fluctuations in enzyme overexpression facilitates early tumor detection and excision. An AIEgen probe (DQM-ALP) for the imaging of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity was synthesized. The probe consists of a quinoline-malononitrile (QM) core decorated with hydrophilic phosphate groups as ALP-recognition units. The rapid liberation of DQM-OH aggregates in the presence of ALP resulted in aggregation-induced fluorescence. The up-regulation of ALP expression in tumor cells was imaged using DQM-ALP. The probe permeated into 3D cervical and liver tumor spheroids for imaging spatially heterogeneous ALP activity with high spatial resolution on a two-photon microscopy platform, providing the fluorescence-guided recognition of sub-millimeter tumorigenesis. DQM-ALP enabled differentiation between tumor and normal tissue ex vivo and in vivo, suggesting that the probe may serve as a powerful tool to assist surgeons during tumor resection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10186-10195
Number of pages10
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Volume59
Issue number25
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2020

Keywords

  • aggregation-induced emission
  • AIEgens
  • enzyme activity
  • nanoprobes
  • tumor detection

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