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The G protein-coupled kisspeptin receptor (GPR54 or KISS1R) is an important mediator in reproduction, metabolism and cancer biology; however, there are limited fluorescent probes or antibodies for direct imaging of these receptors in cells and intact tissues, which can help to interrogate their multiple biological roles. Herein, we describe the rational design and characterization of a new acid-resistant BODIPY-based amino acid (Trp-BODIPY PLUS), and its implementation for solid-phase synthesis of fluorescent bioactive peptides. Trp-BODIPY PLUS retains the binding capabilities of both short linear and cyclic peptides and displays notable turn-on fluorescence emission upon target binding for wash-free imaging. Finally, we employed Trp-BODIPY PLUS to prepare some of the first fluorogenic kisspeptin-based probes and visualized the expression and localization of GPR54 receptors in human cells and in whole mouse pancreatic islets by fluorescence imaging.

Original publication




Journal article


Angew Chem Int Ed Engl

Publication Date





Diabetes, Fluorescence, GPCRs, Probes, Solid-Phase Peptide Synthesis, Mice, Animals, Humans, Kisspeptins, Peptides, Islets of Langerhans, Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled, Optical Imaging, Amino Acids