Visual identification of gut bacteria and determination of natural inhibitors using a fluorescent probe selective for PGP-1

Chao Wang, Zhenhao Tian, Ming Zhang, Ying Deng, Xiangge Tian, Lei Feng, Jingnan Cui, Tony D. James, Xiaochi Ma

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PGP-1 is a bacterial hydrolase that can hydrolyze the amide bond of the L-pyroglutamate (L-pGlu) residue at the amino terminus of proteins and peptides. Guided by the biological function of PGP-1, an off-on NIR fluorescent probe DDPA was developed for the visual sensing of PGP-1 by conjugating pyroglutamic acid (recognition group) and DDAN (fluorophore). Using intestinal bacteria cultivation, eight bacteria strains with active PGP-1 were identified and cultivated efficiently using DDPA. In addition, three natural inhibitors against PGP-1 were isolated from the medical herb Psoralea corylifolia, which could be used to interfere with bacterial metabolism in the gut. As such, the fluorescent probe DDPA provides an efficient method and potential tool for the investigation of intestinal microbiota.

Original languageEnglish
Article number339280
JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
Early online date15 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported financially by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81930112 ), Dalian Science and Technology Leading Talents Project ( 2019RD15 ), Liaoning Provincial Natural Science Foundation ( 20180550761 and 2019-BS-056 ), Liaoning Revitalization Talents Program ( XLYC1907017 ), State Key Laboratory of Fine Chemicals, Dalian University of Technology ( KF1912 ), High-level Talents of Dalian ( 2020RQ076 , 2020RJ09 ) and the Open Research Fund of the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Henan Normal University ( 2020ZD01 and 2021YB07 ). T.D.J. wishes to thank the Royal Society for a Wolfson Research Merit Award.


  • Fluorescent probe
  • High throughput screening
  • Intestinal bacteria
  • Near-infrared
  • PGP-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy


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