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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Detecting Zn(II) Ions in Live Cells with Near-Infrared Fluorescent Probes

1
Department of Chemistry, Michigan Technological University, 1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI 49931, USA
2
College of Biological, Chemical Sciences and Engineering, Jiaxing University, Jiaxing 314001, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Molecules 2019, 24(8), 1592; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24081592
Received: 25 March 2019 / Revised: 4 April 2019 / Accepted: 8 April 2019 / Published: 22 April 2019
Two near-infrared fluorescent probes (A and B) containing hemicyanine structures appended to dipicolylamine (DPA), and a dipicolylamine derivative where one pyridine was substituted with pyrazine, respectively, were synthesized and tested for the identification of Zn(II) ions in live cells. In both probes, an acetyl group is attached to the phenolic oxygen atom of the hemicyanine platform to decrease the probe fluorescence background. Probe A displays sensitive fluorescence responses and binds preferentially to Zn(II) ions over other metal ions such as Cd2+ ions with a low detection limit of 0.45 nM. In contrast, the emission spectra of probe B is not significantly affected if Zn(II) ions are added. Probe A possesses excellent membrane permeability and low cytotoxicity, allowing for sensitive imaging of both exogenously supplemented Zn(II) ions in live cells, and endogenously releases Zn(II) ions in cells after treatment of 2,2-dithiodipyridine. View Full-Text
Keywords: near-infrared fluorescence; fluorescent probes; Zn(II); di-(2-picolyl)amine; living cells; cellular imaging near-infrared fluorescence; fluorescent probes; Zn(II); di-(2-picolyl)amine; living cells; cellular imaging
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MDPI and ACS Style

Fang, M.; Xia, S.; Bi, J.; Wigstrom, T.P.; Valenzano, L.; Wang, J.; Tanasova, M.; Luck, R.L.; Liu, H. Detecting Zn(II) Ions in Live Cells with Near-Infrared Fluorescent Probes. Molecules 2019, 24, 1592.

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