Quantitative and qualitative characterization of fluorinated molecules represents an important task. Fluorine-based medicinal chemistry is a fast-growing research area due to the positive impact of fluorine in drug discovery, and clinical and molecular imaging (e.g., magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography). Common detection methods include fluorinated-based labelling using radioactive isotopes or fluorescent dyes. Nevertheless, these molecular imaging methods can be harmful for health due to the potential instability of fluorochromes and cytoxicity of radioisotopes. Therefore, these methods often require expensive precautionary measures. In this context, we have developed, validated and patented carbon-fluorine spectroscopy (CFS™), recently renamed Spectro-Fluor™ technology, which among a non-competitive family of in-house made devices called PLIRFA™ (Pulsed Laser Isochronic Raman and Fluorescence Apparatus™), allows reliable detection of Carbon-Fluorine (C-F) bonds. C-F bonds are known to be stable and safe labels once incorporated to any type of molecules, cells, compounds or (nano-) materials. In this pioneered research study, we used Spectro-Fluor™ to assess biomarkers. As a proof-of-principle experiment, we have established a three-step protocol intended to rapid protein detection, which simply consisted of: (i) incorporating a sufficient concentration of an aromatic amino-acid (fluorinated versus non-fluorinated) into cultured cells; (ii) simultaneously isolating the fluorinated protein of interest and the non-fluorinated form of the protein (control) by immune-precipitation; (iii) comparatively analyzing the respective spectrum obtained for the two protein forms by Spectro-Fluor™. Thereby, we were able to differentiate, from colon cancer cells HCT-116, the fluorinated and non-fluorinated forms of p21, a key transcriptional factor and downstream target of p53, the so-called "guardian of the genome". Taken together, our data again demonstrates the beneficial alternative use of Spectro-Fluor™, which once combined with an innovative methodology permits one to quickly, reliably, safely and cost-effectively detect physiological or pathological proteins in cells.
Menaa, F., Menaa, B., & Sharts, O. (2014). Spectro-FluorTM Technology for Reliable Detection of Proteins and Biomarkers of Disease: A Pioneered Research Study. Diagnostics, 4(4), 140–152. https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics4040140