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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Caged luciferins for bioluminescent activity-based sensing.

  • Author(s): Su, Timothy A
  • Bruemmer, Kevin J
  • Chang, Christopher J
  • et al.

Bioluminescence imaging is a powerful modality for in vivo imaging owing to its low background and high signal-to-noise ratio. Because bioluminescent emission occurs only upon the catalytic reaction between the luciferase enzyme and its luciferin substrate, caging luciferins with analyte-reactive triggers offers a general approach for activity-based sensing of specific biochemical processes in living systems across cell, tissue, and animal models. In this review, we summarize recent efforts in the development of synthetic caged luciferins for tracking enzyme, small molecule, and metal ion activity and their contributions to physiological and pathological processes.

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