Cell-based assays can monitor virus infection at a single-cell level with high sensitivity and cost-efficiency. For this purpose, it is crucial to develop molecular probes that respond selectively to physiological changes in live cells. We report stimuli-responsive light-emitters built on a T-shaped benzimidazole platform, and consecutive borylation reactions to produce a library of homologs displaying systematic changes in fluorescence quantum yield and environmental sensitivity. We find that certain fluorophores localize selectively at the endoplasmic reticulum, and interact with proteins involved in the stress signaling pathways. Notably, the mono-borylated compound responds selectively to the stress conditions by enhancing fluorescence, and detects avian influenza virus infection at the single-cell level. Our findings demonstrate the unprecedented practical utility of the stress-responsive molecular probes to differentiate cellular states for early diagnosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)