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Department of Chemistry; Health Research Institute; Department of Biological Sciences


The direct relationship between facilitative glucose transporters (GLUTs) and metabolic diseases opens new avenues for sensing metabolic deregulations and drives the development of molecular probes for GLUT-targeted detection of metabolic diseases. Radiotracer-based molecular imaging probes have been effectively utilized in reporting alterations in sugar uptake as an indication of metabolic deregulations, cancer development, or inflammation. Progress in developing fluorophore-based tools facilitated GLUT-specific analyses using more accessible fluorescence-based instrumentation. However, restrictions on the emission range of fluorophores and the requirement for substantial post-treatments to reduce background fluorescence have brought to light the critical directions for improvement of the technology for broader use in screening applications. Here we present turn-on GLUT activity reporters activated upon cells' internalization. We demonstrate a specific delivery of a sizable rhodamine B fluorophore through GLUT5 and showcase a stringent requirement in conjugate structure for maintaining a GLUT-specific uptake. With the turn-on GLUT probes, we demonstrate the feasibility of high-throughput fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry-based GLUT activity screening in live cells and the probes' applicability for assessing sugar uptake alterations .

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Copyright © 2023 The Authors. Co-published by Nanjing University and American Chemical Society. This publication is licensed under

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Chemical & biomedical imaging


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