Pyridine-NBD: A homocysteine-selective fluorescent probe for glioblastoma (GBM) diagnosis based on a blood test

Youngwoong Kim, Jong Min An, Jaehoon Kim, Tamrin Chowdhury, Hyeon Jong Yu, Kyung Min Kim, Ho Kang, Chul Kee Park, Joonyoung F. Joung, Sungnam Park, Dokyoung Kim

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12 Citations (Scopus)


The precise in vitro diagnosis requires a high selectivity and sensitivity for a diagnostic agent. In this respect, fluorescent diagnostic probes have attracted attention in various clinical fields. Herein, we disclosed a tailor-made fluorescent homocysteine probe (NPO-Pyr) based on pyridine-thiol coordination and amine-addition. To date, Hcy has been recognized as an excellent biomarker for various diseases, but there still remain some limitations in detecting of Hcy due to its structural similarity to Cys. In this study, we developed a new fluorescent diagnostic probe for monitoring Hcy by incorporating 4-hydroxy-pyridine moiety into the skeleton of the NBD fluorophore. The incorporated pyridine moiety could coordinate with the thiol group at Hcy, followed by the amine-addition reaction (12 kJ/mol). Based on this rationale, NPO-Pyr responded to Hcy and exhibited turn-on properties with high selectivity and sensitivity (LOD: 0.084 ppm), and a fast-response time (<5 min). Furthermore, NPO-Pyr could predict the formation of glioblastoma (GBM) at an early stage through sensing Hcy in blood plasma (vs. healthy group, ∗∗∗∗P < 0.0001). Our findings have a significant importance across various fields from basic science to clinical translation, and we strongly believe that NPO-Pyr has the potential to fully replace the current complex GBM diagnostic process as a simpler in vitro agent.

Original languageEnglish
Article number339678
JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Apr 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea funded by the Ministry of Education ( 2018-R1A6A1A03025124 ; D.K.). This research was also supported by the Bio & Medical Technology Development Program of the NRF of Korea funded by the Ministry of Science & ICT ( 2022-M3A9H1014157 , 2021-M3A9I5030523 ; D.K.) and by a grant of the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare , Republic of Korea ( HI21C0239 ; D.K.). Additional support: NRF of Korea ( 2019-R1A6A1A11044070 ; S.P.).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.


  • Blood test
  • Disease biomarker
  • Fluorescence probe
  • Glioblastoma diagnosis
  • Homocysteine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy


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