2021 Volume 68 Issue 1 Pages 9-17
Reactive sulfur species, including hydrogen sulfide, hydropersulfide, and polysulfide, have many roles in biological systems. For example, hydrogen sulfide is involved in the relaxation of vascular smooth muscles and mediation of neurotransmission, while sulfane sulfur, which exists in cysteine persulfide/polysulfide, and glutathione persulfide/polysulfide, is involved in physiological antioxidation and cytoprotection mechanisms. Fluorescence imaging is well suited for real-time monitoring of reactive sulfur species in living cells, and many fluorescent probes for reactive sulfur species have been reported. In such probes, the choice of detection chemistry is extremely important, not only to achieve effective fluorescence switching and high selectivity, but also because the reactions may be applicable to develop other chemical tools, such as reactive sulfur species donors/scavengers. Here, we present an overview of both widely used and recently developed fluorescent probes for reactive sulfur species, focusing especially on the chemical reactions employed in them for fluorescence switching. We also briefly introduce some applications of fluorescent probes for hydrogen sulfide and sulfane sulfur.