A new substrate for alkaline phosphatase based on quercetin pentaphosphate

Samuel K. Mwilu, Veronica A. Okello, Francis J. Osonga, Seth Miller, Omowunmi A. Sadik

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10 Scopus citations


We describe the characterization and application of quercetin pentaphosphate (QPP), a new fluorimetric substrate for the detection of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity. QPP exhibits major absorbance peaks at 260/410 nm and a strong fluorescence at λexem = 425/510 nm at alkaline pH. The product of enzymatic reaction between QPP and ALP has a strong absorbance peak at 324 nm with no fluorescence at the investigated wavelengths. The product generated from the enzymatic reaction was found to be proportional to ALP activity, and the ALP activity was monitored by the absorbance difference at 310 nm and 410 nm. The change in absorbance was found to be proportional to the ALP concentration with a linear detection range and a limit of detection of 0.01-16 U L-1 and 0.766 U L-1, respectively. The enzyme activity was also monitored by evaluating the change in fluorescence emission at 530 nm with a linear range of 0.01-8 U L-1 and a detection limit of 0.062 U L-1. Further, the validity of the new substrate for ALP in conjugated form was tested using Bacillus globigii spores as the model sample. A detection limit of 5998 spores per mL was obtained using QPP as the substrate. Unlike the parent compound, QPP substrate exhibits stability in solution for over three and half months and was stable under storage for over 12 months. The results obtained demonstrate the effectiveness of QPP for ALP and compare well with other fluorescent substrates, such as Fluorescein, Alexa Fluor and Cy5.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5472-5481
Number of pages10
Issue number21
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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