Fluorescent probe 1, the first inorganic phosphate (Pi) targeted colorimetric and fluorescent probe to detect endogenous Pi in hemichannel-closed cells, has been developed. Probe 1 undergoes a unique Pi induced hydrolytic reaction in DMSO-HEPES (V/V = 9:1) buffered (0.02 M, pH 7.4) solutions that produces a colorimetric change associated with a 62 nm red-shift in the UV-vis absorption maximum and up to a 780-fold enhancement in the fluorescence intensity. The mechanistic proposal that these spectroscopic changes are associated with reaction Pi with 1 to form coumarin gains support from the results of theoretical calculations and mass spectrometry studies. Observations made in fluorescence imaging studies with HeLa cells and C. elegans show that 1 can be employed to monitor Pi production in vivo caused by apyrase-catalyzed ATP hydrolysis. Moreover, probe 1 was utilized to show that apoptosis of hemichannel-closed Sf9 cells is caused by Inx3 promoted dephosphorylation of Akt (RAC serine/threonine-protein kinase), leading to an elevation of the concentration of Pi. Overall, the study has produced the first fluorescent sensor 1 for endogenous inorganic phosphate. Moreover, the utility of 1 for measuring Pi release in vitro has been demonstrated and utilized to elucidate the mechanism of Inx3 action in hemichannel-closed Sf9 cells.
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© 2014 American Chemical Society.