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β-Galactosidase (β-Gal) is a widely used enzyme as a reporter gene in the field of molecular biology which hydrolyzes the β-galactosides into monosaccharides. β-Gal is an essential enzyme in humans and its deficiency or its overexpression results in several rare diseases. Cellular senescence is probably one of the most relevant physiological disorders that involve β-Gal enzyme. In this review, we assess the progress made to date in the design of molecular-based probes for the detection of β-Gal both in vitro and in vivo. Most of the reported molecular probes for the detection of β-Gal consist of a galactopyranoside residue attached to a signalling unit through glycosidic bonds. The β-Gal-induced hydrolysis of the glycosidic bonds released the signalling unit with remarkable changes in color and/or emission. Additional examples based on other approaches are also described. The wide applicability of these probes for the rapid and in situ detection of de-regulation β-Gal-related diseases has boosted the research in this fertile field.


Beatriz Lozano-Torres, Juan F Blandez, Félix Sancenón, Ramón Martínez-Máñez. Chromo-fluorogenic probes for β-galactosidase detection. Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry. 2021 Apr;413(9):2361-2388

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PMID: 33606064

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