A triphenylphosphonium-functionalised cyclometalated platinum(II) complex as a nucleolus-specific two-photon molecular dye

  • Koo C
  • So L
  • Wong K
 et al. 
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An organometallic cyclometalated platinum(II) complex, [Pt(L(3))Cl][PF(6)], has been synthesised from a specially designed cyclometalating ligand, HL(3) (triphenyl{5-[3-(6-phenylpyridin-2-yl)-1H-pyrazol-1-yl]pentyl}phosphonium chloride), that contains a pendant carbon chain carrying a terminal cationic triphenylphosphonium moiety. Aside from its room temperature single-photon luminescent properties in solution, [Pt(L(3))Cl](+) can also produce two-photon-induced luminescence at room temperature upon excitation at 700 nm from a mode-locked Ti:sapphire laser. Its two-photon absorption cross-section in DMF at room temperature was measured to be 28.0x10(-50) cm(4) s photon(-1). [Pt(L(3))Cl](+) is able to selectively stain the cell nucleolus. This has been demonstrated by two-photon confocal imaging of live and methanol-fixed HeLa (human cervical carcinoma) and 3T3 (mouse skin fibroblasts) cells. This organelle specificity is likely to be related to its special affinity for proteins within cell nucleoli. As a result of such protein affinity, [Pt(L(3))Cl](+) is an efficient RNA transcription inhibitor and shows rather profound cytotoxicity. On the other hand, the organelle-specific labelling and two-photon-induced luminescent properties of [Pt(L(3))Cl](+) renders it a useful nuclear dye for the 3-dimensional reconstruction of optical sections of thick tissues, for example, mouse ileum tissues, by multiphoton confocal microscopy.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Imaging agents
  • Optical tissue sectioning
  • Organelle-specific labeling
  • Platinum
  • Two-photon imaging

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  • Chi Kin Koo

  • Leo K.Y. So

  • Ka Leung Wong

  • Yu Man Ho

  • Yun Wah Lam

  • Michael H.W. Lam

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