Fluorescent molecular rotors as sensors for the detection of thymidine phosphorylase

Manuela Petaccia, Luisa Giansanti, James N. Wilson, Heajin Lee, Sara Battista, Giovanna Mancini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Three new fluorescent molecular rotors were synthesized with the aim of using them as sensors to dose thymidine phosphorylase, one of the target enzymes of 5-fluorouracil, a potent chemotherapic drug largely used in the treatment of many solid tumors, that acts by hindering the metabolism of pyrimidines. 5-Fluorouracil has a very narrow therapeutic window, in fact, its optimal dosage is strictly related to the level of its target enzymes that vary significantly among patients, and it would be of the utmost importance to have an easy and fast method to detect and quantify them. The three molecular rotors developed as TP sensors differ in the length of the alkylic spacer joining the ligand unit, a thymine moiety, and the fluorescent molecular rotor, a [4-(1-dimethylamino)phenyl]-pyridinium bromide. Their ability to trigger an optical signal upon the interaction with thymidine phosphorylase was investigated by fluorescent measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number115881
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • 5-Fluoruracil
  • Fluorescent Sensor
  • Molecular Rotor
  • Spacer Length
  • Thymidine Phosphorylase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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