Near-Infrared Fluorescence Probe for Specific Detection of Acetylcholinesterase and Imaging in Live Cells and Zebrafish

Maxine Mambo Fortibui, Mina Jang, Sohyun Lee, In Ja Ryoo, Jong Seog Ahn, Sung Kyun Ko, Jinheung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) is a pivotal enzyme that is closely related with multiple neurological diseases, such as brain disorders or alterations in the neurotransmission and cancer. The development of convenient methods for imaging AChE activity in biological samples is very important to understand its mechanisms and functions in a living system. Herein, a fluorescent probe exhibiting emission in the near-infrared (NIR) region is developed to detect AChE and visualize biological AChE activities. This probe exhibits a quick response time, reasonable detection limit, and a large Stokes shift accompanied by the NIR emission. The probe has much better reactivity toward AChE than butyrylcholinesterase, which is one of the significant interfering substances. The outstanding specificity of the probe is proved by cellular imaging AChE activity and successful mapping in different regions of zebrafish. Such an effective probe can greatly contribute to ongoing efforts to design emission probes that have distinct properties to assay AChE in biological systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2232-2239
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Bio Materials
Issue number5
StatePublished - 16 May 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (NRF-2017R1A5A1015365, 2019R1A2C1007278) and KRIBB Research Initiative Program (KGM5522113) funded by the Ministry of Science ICT (MSIT) of Republic of Korea.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.


  • acetylcholinesterase
  • cell imaging
  • fluorescent probe
  • long-wavelength emission
  • zebrafish


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