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Taotao Zou, Dr. Ching Tung Lum, Dr. Stephen Sin-Yin Chui and Prof. Dr. Chi-Ming Che Gold(III) Complexes Containing N-Heterocyclic Carbene Ligands: Thiol “Switch-on” Fluorescent Probes and Anti-Cancer Agents Angewandte Chemie International Edition 52

Version of Record online: 1 FEB 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/anie.201209787

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Illuminating results: Activation of non-emissive [AuIII(N N N)(NHC)]+ complexes (such as 1) through reduction by intracellular glutathione gives active AuI–NHC complexes, which show promising anti-cancer properties, accompanied by release of the highly fluorescent ligand. The high fluorescence “switch-on” efficiency makes these AuIII complexes excellent probes for cellular thiol detection.

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