Synthesis of a Far-Red Fluorophore and Its Use as an Esterase Probe in Living Cells

Chem Commun (Camb). 2016 Jan 31;52(9):1835-8. doi: 10.1039/c5cc08764c.


We report the synthesis of a new far-red fluorophore, 1,3-dichloro-7-hydroxy-2H-spiro[acridine-9,1'-cyclohexane]-2',5'-diene-2,4'-dione (DSACO), which was modified to make two esterase probes: DSACO-2-AME and DSACO-7-AME. Both probes act as "turn-on" substrates for esterases and lipases. DSACO-2-AME exhibited efficient esterase-activated fluorescence inside living cells and is a stable, far-red alternative for the widely-used fluorescein diacetate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Esterases / chemistry*
  • Fluorescent Dyes / chemistry*
  • Rats


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Esterases