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Intracellular Self-Assembly of Cyclic d‑Luciferin Nanoparticles for Persistent Bioluminescence Imaging of Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase

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posted on 27.06.2016, 00:00 by Yue Yuan, Fuqiang Wang, Wei Tang, Zhanling Ding, Lin Wang, Lili Liang, Zhen Zheng, Huafeng Zhang, Gaolin Liang
Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) overexpression induces several disorder symptoms in nerve systems, and therefore long-term tracing of FAAH activity in vivo is of high importance but remains challenging. Current bioluminescence (BL) methods are limited in detecting FAAH activity within 5 h. Herein, by rational design of a latent BL probe (d-Cys-Lys-CBT)2 (1), we developed a “smart” method of intracellular reduction-controlled self-assembly and FAAH-directed disassembly of its cyclic d-luciferin-based nanoparticles (i.e., 1-NPs) for persistent BL imaging of FAAH activity in vitro, in cells, and in vivo. Using aminoluciferin methyl amide (AMA), Lys-amino-d-luciferin (Lys-Luc), and amino-d-luciferin (NH2-Luc) as control BL probes, we validated that the persistent BL of 1 from luciferase-expressing cells or tumors was controlled by the activity of intracellular FAAH. With the property of long-term tracing of FAAH activity in vivo of 1, we envision that our BL precursor 1 could probably be applied for in vivo screening of FAAH inhibitors and the diagnosis of their related diseases (or disorders) in the future.