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Coenzyme Q Functionalized CdTe/ZnS Quantum Dots for Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) Imaging

Authors

  • Li-Xia Qin,

    1. Shanghai Key Laboratory of Functional Materials Chemistry & Department of Chemistry, East China University of Science and Technology, 130 Meilong Road, Shanghai, 200237, P. R. (P. R. China), Fax: (+86) 21-64250032
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  • Wei Ma,

    1. Shanghai Key Laboratory of Functional Materials Chemistry & Department of Chemistry, East China University of Science and Technology, 130 Meilong Road, Shanghai, 200237, P. R. (P. R. China), Fax: (+86) 21-64250032
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  • Dr. Da-Wei Li,

    1. Shanghai Key Laboratory of Functional Materials Chemistry & Department of Chemistry, East China University of Science and Technology, 130 Meilong Road, Shanghai, 200237, P. R. (P. R. China), Fax: (+86) 21-64250032
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  • Dr. Yang Li,

    1. Shanghai Key Laboratory of Functional Materials Chemistry & Department of Chemistry, East China University of Science and Technology, 130 Meilong Road, Shanghai, 200237, P. R. (P. R. China), Fax: (+86) 21-64250032
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  • Prof. Xiaoyuan Chen,

    1. Laboratory of Molecular Imaging and Nanomedicine (LOMIN), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD (USA)
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  • Prof. Heinz-Bernhard Kraatz,

    1. Department of Chemistry, The University of Western Ontario, 1051 Richmond Street, London, Ontario, N5 A 5B9 (Canada)
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  • Prof. Tony D. James,

    1. Department of Chemistry, University of Bath, Bath. BA2 7AY (UK)
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  • Prof. Yi-Tao Long

    Corresponding author
    1. Shanghai Key Laboratory of Functional Materials Chemistry & Department of Chemistry, East China University of Science and Technology, 130 Meilong Road, Shanghai, 200237, P. R. (P. R. China), Fax: (+86) 21-64250032
    • Shanghai Key Laboratory of Functional Materials Chemistry & Department of Chemistry, East China University of Science and Technology, 130 Meilong Road, Shanghai, 200237, P. R. (P. R. China), Fax: (+86) 21-64250032
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Abstract

Quantum dots (QDs) have been widely used for fluorescent imaging in cells. In particular, surface functionalized QDs are of interest, since they possess the ability to recognize and detect the analytes in the surrounding nanoscale environment based on electron and hole transfer between the analytes and the QDs. Here we demonstrate that fluorescence enhancement/quenching in QDs can be switched by electrochemically modulating electron transfer between attached molecules and QDs. For this purpose, a number of redox-active coenzyme Q (CoQ) disulfide derivatives [CoQCnS]2 were synthesized with different alkyl chain lengths (n=1, 5, and 10). The system supremely sensitive to NADH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) and superoxide radical (O2.), and represents a biomimetic electron-transfer system, modeling part of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. The results of our in situ fluorescence spectroelectrochemical study demonstrate that the reduced state of [CoQCnS]2 significantly enhanced the fluorescence intensity of CdTe/ZnS QDs, while the oxidized state of the CoQ conjugates quench the fluorescence to varying degrees. Fluorescence imaging of cells loaded with the conjugate QD-[CoQCnS]2 displayed strikingly differences in the fluorescence depending on the redox state of the capping layer, thus introducing a handle for evaluating the status of the cellular redox potential status. Moreover, an MTT assay (MTT=3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) proved that the cytotoxicity of QDs was significantly reduced after immobilization by CoQ derivatives. Those unique features make CoQ derivatived QDs as a promising probe to image redox coenzyme function in vitro and in vivo.

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