Recent progress on the development of glutathione (GSH) selective fluorescent and colorimetric probes

Songyi Lee, Jun Li, Xin Zhou, Jun Yin, Juyoung Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

165 Scopus citations


Glutathione (GSH) plays a key role in many cellular functions. Abnormal levels of GSH is considered to be sign of many diseases. As a result, various fluorescent imaging probes and/or chemosensors for GSH have been developed. Compared to other analytical methods, fluorescence has unique merits, such as excellent detection limits and sensitivity for use in imaging cells, tissues and small animals. However, colorimetric probes undergo distinct color changes, which in most cases can be detected by using the naked eye. This review of studies aimed at the development of GSH probes is presented in a format that is organized by structural features and chemical reactions of the probes. The topics include probes that are based on nanoparticles or nanocomposites, metal ion displacement and coordination and chemical reactions. The reaction based probes are further classified into probes that undergo cleavage of sulphonamide, sulfonate ester and related functional groups, Se–N bond cleavage, aryl substitution reactions, disulfide bond cleavage followed by cyclization, Michael additions, and other processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-68
Number of pages40
JournalCoordination Chemistry Reviews
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • Bioimaging
  • Biothiol probes
  • Colorimetric chemosensors
  • Fluorescence probes
  • GSH probes
  • Glutathione probe


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