A 'turn-on' fluorescent probe for lysosomal phosphatase: A comparative study for labeling of cancer cells

Arup Podder, Sudipta Senapati, Pralay Maiti, Devaraj Kamalraj, Syed S. Jaffer, Sabina Khatun, Sankarprasad Bhuniya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have described the ability of a newly synthesized fluorescent probe (LP1) to detect phosphatase activity in lysosomes in cancer cells. Probe LP1 displayed a 33-fold fluorescence intensity enhancement at λem 532 nm in the presence of phosphatase in HEPES buffer (pH 4.5). The quantum yield of probe LP1 was increased by ∼21-fold upon exposure to phosphatase at acidic pH. The probe LP1 is highly chemoselective toward phosphatase (ALP/ACP) and is insensitive to interference by ubiquitous biological analytes. The high cell adhesion property and cell viability of LP1 indicate that LP1 is biocompatible and nontoxic; these two characteristic features make it a suitable candidate for phosphatase tracking in living cells. LP1 dose-dependent fluorescence images in living cells suggested that the expression of phosphatase in cancer cells (HeLa) is 2-fold higher as compared to the normal NIH-3T3 cells. The colocalization images confirmed that LP1 was exclusively localized in lysosomes. We envision that LP1 could be a potential tool in clinical diagnosis for discriminating cancer cells from normal cells depending on the expression of phosphatase in lysosomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4514-4521
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry B
Issue number27
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • General Materials Science


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