Our recent JACS paper has been highlighted as JACS Spotlights!


Our work entitled An Activatable Near-Infrared Fluorescence Probe for in Vivo Imaging of Acute Kidney Injury by Targeting Phosphatidylserine and Caspase-3 (DOI: 10.1021/jacs.1c08898), which has been published in JACS recently, has been chosen as JACS Spotlights on Dec 07, 2021 ( Thanks for Sarah's comprehensive reading and nice summary.

We are excited to share the text of the JACS hightlighs here:


    Acute kidney injury (AKI), a sudden loss of kidney function, can be caused by sepsis, hypotension, kidney stones and medicines such as the anti-cancer compound cisplatin. To identify drug toxicity and prevent severe kidney damage, AKI must be detected at an initial stage. However, current methods that rely on kidney imaging or changes in blood chemistry can only diagnose AKI in an advanced state. 

    Now, Deju Ye and colleagues report a kidney-clearable, nearinfrared fluorescent probe that detects two biomarkers of the cellular apoptosis process underpinning AKI to facilitate early diagnosis (DOI: 10.1021/jacs.1c08898). Using a one-pot sequential click reaction, the researchers synthesized a probe that incorporates ligands that bind phosphatidylserine and a substrate for the caspase-3 enzyme, which generates a fluorophore when cleaved. The probe gave greater fluorescence intensity than a control molecule that targets only one biomarker, increasing signal-to-noise ratio. The team used the probe to detect cisplatin-induced AKI in mice, observing that fluorescence intensity correlated with caspase-3 activity as AKI progressed and that kidney injury could be detected after 24 h. The probe also tracked recovery of kidney function upon administration of the drug N-acetyl-L-cysteine, revealing that it can be used to screen AKI therapeutics. This work establishes a non-invasive strategy to visualize AKI in real time and may be adapted to monitor other conditions characterized by apoptosis. 

Sarah Anderon

Address: Rm D307, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering,

Nanjing University,163 Xianlin Rd, Nanjing, P. R. China

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