Cyclen-based phenylboronate ligands and their Eu3+ complexes for sensing glucose by MRI

Robert Trokowski, Shanrong Zhang, A. Dean Sherry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Novel cyclen-based phenylboronate ligands and their corresponding Eu 3+ complexes have been examined as glucose sensors using chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) MR imaging for detection. Two isomeric bis-phenylboronate complexes, Eu(4) and Eu(10), and a mono-phenylboronate complex, Eu(12), had been prepared and characterized by UV and circular dichroism spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and CEST imaging. Both the free ligands and their Eu3+ complexes bind to simple sugars, but their selectivity and binding affinities vary with sugar structure. Interestingly, the free ligands, 4 and 10, are selective for fructose over glucose, but this selectivity order switches in the respective Eu3+ complexes. Of the complexes examined, Eu(4) shows the highest selectivity and binding affinity for glucose (2275 ± 266 M-1 at pH 10.2 and 339 ± 29 M -1 at pH 7). Glucose acts as a "capping" moiety in the Eu(4)-glucose binary complex and modulates water exchange between a single Eu3+-bound water molecule and bulk water, an effect that can be detected by CEST imaging. Thus, Eu(4) represents a new class of metabolite-specific imaging agents that may allow mapping of metabolites by MRI of the bulk water signal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1431-1440
Number of pages10
JournalBioconjugate Chemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Organic Chemistry


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