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Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering >> 2022, Volume 16, Issue 1 doi: 10.1007/s11705-021-2063-9

hydrophobic environment triggering reactive fluorescence probe to real-time monitor mitochondrial DNA damage

Received: 29 Dec 202 Revised: 24 Mar 202 Accepted: 27 Dec 202 Available online: 2022-01-15

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Mitochondrial DNA has a special structure that is prone to damage resulting in many serious diseases, such as genetic diseases and cancers. Therefore, the rapid and specific monitoring of mitochondrial DNA damage is urgently needed for biological recognition. Herein, we constructed an in situ hydrophobic environment-triggering reactive fluorescence probe named MBI-CN. The fluorophore was 2-styrene-1H-benzo[d]imidazole, and malononitrile was introduced as a core into a molecule to initiate the hydrolysis reaction in the specific environment containing damaged mitochondrial DNA. In this design, MBI-CN conjugates to mitochondrial DNA without causing additional damages. Thus, MBI-CN can be hydrolyzed to generate MBI-CHO in an in situ hydrophobic environment with mitochondrial DNA damage. Meanwhile, MBI-CHO immediately emitted a significative fluorescence signal changes at 437 and 553 nm within 25 s for the damaged mitochondria DNA. Give that the specific and rapid response of MBI-CN does not cause additional damages to mitochondrial DNA, it is a potentially effective detection tool for the real-time monitoring of mitochondrial DNA damage during cell apoptosis and initial assessment of cell apoptosis.

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