Aminonaphthalene 2-cyanoacrylate (ANCA) probes fluorescently discriminate between amyloid-β and prion plaques in brain

Kevin Cao, Mona Farahi, Marianna Dakanali, Willy M. Chang, Christina J. Sigurdson, Emmanuel A. Theodorakis, Jerry Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Scopus citations


A major challenge for diagnosing and monitoring the progression of amyloid-based diseases is the capability to distinguish between amyloid deposits that are associated with related, but distinctly different, diseases. Here, we demonstrate that aminonaphthalenyl 2-cyanoacrylate-based probes can fluorescently discriminate between different types of amyloid deposits in brain. The discriminating capability of these molecular rotors is due to the stabilization of the ground versus excited states of these probes as a function of the polarity of their microenvironment (i.e., within the binding pocket on the amyloid). This property makes it possible, for the first time, to estimate the inherent static relative permittivity (ε0) of the binding pocket of each amyloid within tissue. The capability to selectively follow the deposition of specific amyloids in tissue may provide important information for therapeutic development that is not readily accessible from currently available technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17338-17341
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number42
StatePublished - Oct 24 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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