Fluorescent detection of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) through the formation of pyrene excimers enhances H2S quantification in biochemical systems


Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is produced endogenously by several enzymatic pathways and modulates physiological functions in mammals. Quantification of H2S in biochemical systems re-mains challenging because of the presence of interferents with similar reactivity, particularly thiols. Herein, we present a new quantification method based on the formation of pyrene exci-mers in solution. We synthesized the probe 2-(maleimido)ethyl 4-pyrenylbutanoate (MEPB) and determined that MEPB reacted with H2S in a two-step reaction to yield the thioether-linked dimer (MEPB)2S, which formed excimers upon excita-tion, with a broad peak of fluorescence emission centered at 480 nm. In contrast, we found that the products formed with thiols showed peaks at 378 and 398 nm. The difference in emission between the products prevented the interference. Furthermore, we showed that the excimer fluorescence signal yielded a linear response to H2S, with a limit of detection of 54 nM in a fluorometer. Our quantification method with MEPB was successfully applied to follow the reaction of H2S with glutathione disulfide and to quantify the production of H2S from cysteine by Escherichia coli. In conclusion, this method represents an addition to the toolkit of biochemists to quantify H2S specifically and sensitively in biochemical systems.



Conformational-change, n-ethylmaleimide, probe, binding, chemistry, tools, assay, form