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PET- and ICT-Based Ratiometric Probe: An Unusual Phenomenon of Morpholine-Conjugated Fluorophore for Mitochondrial pH Mapping during Mitophagy
Published in American Chemical Society
Volume: 94
Issue: 33
Pages: 11633 - 11642
Mitochondrial functions are heavily influenced by acid-base homeostasis. Hence, elucidation of the mitochondrial pH is essential in living cells, and its alterations during pathologies is an interesting question to be addressed. Small molecular fluorescent probes are progressively applied to quantify the mitochondrial pH by fluorescence imaging. Herein, we designed a unique small molecular fluorescent probe, PM-Mor-OH, based on the lipophilic morpholine ligand-conjugated pyridinium derivative of "IndiFluors". The morpholine-conjugated fluorescent probe usually localized the lysosome. However, herein, we observed unusual phenomena of morpholine-tagged PM-Mor-OH that localized mitochondria explicitly. The morpholine ligand also plays a pivotal role in tuning optical properties via photoinduced electron transfer (PET) during internal pH alteration (ΔpHi). In the mitophagy process, lysosomes engulf damaged mitochondria, leading to ΔpHi, which can be monitored using our probe. It exhibited "ratiometric"emission at single wavelength excitation (ex. 488) and is suitable for monitoring and quantifying the ΔpHi using confocal microscope high-resolution image analysis during mitophagy. The bathochromic emission shifts due to intramolecular charge transfer (ICT) in basic pH were well explained by the time-dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT/PCM). Similarly, the change in the emission ratio (green/red) with pH variations was also validated by the PET process. In addition, PM-Mor-OH can quantify the pH change during oxidative stress induced by rapamycin, mutant A53T α-synuclein-mediated protein misfolding stress in mitochondria, and during starvation. Rapamycin-induced mitophagy was further elucidated by the translocation of mCherry Parkin to damaged mitochondria, which well correlates with our probe. Thus, PM-Mito-OH is a valuable probe for visualizing mitophagy and can act as a suitable tool for the diagnosis of mitochondrial diseases. © 2022 American Chemical Society.
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Published in American Chemical Society
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