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Fluorescent probes for imaging formaldehyde in biological systems.

Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2017 Aug;39:17-23

Authors: Bruemmer KJ, Brewer TF, Chang CJ

Formaldehyde (FA) is a common environmental toxin but is also endogenously produced through a diverse array of essential biological processes, including mitochondrial one-carbon metabolism, metabolite oxidation, and nuclear epigenetic modifications. Its high electrophilicity enables reactivity with a wide variety of biological nucleophiles, which can be beneficial or detrimental to cellular function depending on the context. New methods that enable detection of FA in living systems can help disentangle the signal/stress dichotomy of this simplest reactive carbonyl species (RCS), and fluorescent probes for FA with high selectivity and sensitivity have emerged as promising chemical tools in this regard.

PMID: 28527906 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]