In this communication we propose a novel application for prefluorescent probes in the detection of free carbon-centered radicals in enzymatic processes. Prefluorescent probes combine a fluorescent moiety tethered to a paramagnetic nitroxide that acts as a fluorescence quencher. Trapping of a radical by the nitroxide group restores the fluorescence properties. The increase in fluorescence intensity with time reflects the formation and quenching of carbon-centered radicals and can be used for the quantitative evaluation of yields and kinetics. As a test system we used horseradish peroxidase, an oxidoreductase that is widely accepted to operate by a radical-mediated mechanism. We used the prefluorescent probe (quinoline-TEMPO), where a quinoline moiety has been tethered to 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidin-1-oxyl.
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Vol. 78 • No. 4