Design and Synthesis of a Luminescent Cyclometalated Iridium(III) Complex Having N,N‑Diethylamino Group that Stains Acidic Intracellular Organelles and Induces Cell Death by Photoirradiation
journal contributionposted on 03.12.2012, 00:00 by Shinsuke Moromizato, Yosuke Hisamatsu, Toshihiro Suzuki, Yasuki Matsuo, Ryo Abe, Shin Aoki
Cyclometalated iridium(III) complexes have received considerable attention and are important candidates for use as luminescent probes for cellular imaging because of their potential photophysical properties. We previously reported that fac-Ir(atpy)3 4 (atpy = 2-(5′-amino-4′-tolyl)pyridine) containing three amino groups at the 5′-position of the atpy ligand shows a maximum red emission (at around 600 nm) under neutral and basic conditions and a green emission (at 531 nm) at acidic pH (pH 3–4). In this Article, we report on the design and synthesis of a new pH-sensitive cyclometalated Ir(III) complex containing a 2-(5′-N,N-diethylamino-4′-tolyl)pyridine (deatpy) ligand, fac-Ir(deatpy)3 5. The complex exhibits a considerable change in emission intensity between neutral and slightly acidic pH (pH 6.5–7.4). Luminescence microscopic studies using HeLa-S3 cells indicate that 5 can be used to selectively stain lysosome, an acidic organelle in cells. Moreover, complex 5 is capable of generating singlet oxygen in a pH-dependent manner and inducing the death of HeLa-S3 cells upon photoirradiation at 377 or 470 nm.