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Zinspy Sensors with Enhanced Dynamic Range for Imaging Neuronal Cell Zinc Uptake and Mobilization

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posted on 06.12.2006, 00:00 by Elizabeth M. Nolan, Jubin W. Ryu, Jacek Jaworski, Rodney P. Feazell, Morgan Sheng, Stephen J. Lippard
Thiophene moieties were incorporated into previously described Zinspy (ZS) fluorescent Zn(II) sensor motifs (Nolan, E. M.; Lippard, S. J. Inorg. Chem. 2004, 43, 8310−8317) to provide enhanced fluorescence properties, low-micromolar dissociation constants for Zn(II), and improved Zn(II) selectivity. Halogenation of the xanthenone and benzoate moieties of the fluorescein platform systematically modulates the excitation and emission profiles, pH-dependent fluorescence, Zn(II) affinity, and Zn(II) complexation rates, offering a general strategy for tuning multiple properties of xanthenone-based metal ion sensors. Extensive biological studies in cultured cells and primary neuronal cultures demonstrate 2-{6-hydroxy-3-oxo-4,5-bis[(pyridin-2-ylmethylthiophen-2-ylmethylamino)methyl]-3H-xanthen-9-yl}benzoic acid (ZS5) to be a versatile imaging tool for detecting Zn(II) in vivo. ZS5 localizes to the mitochondria of HeLa cells and allows visualization of glutamate-mediated Zn(II) uptake in dendrites and Zn(II) release resulting from nitrosative stress in neurons.