Near-infrared absorption and emission probes with optimal connection bridges for live monitoring of NAD(P)H dynamics in living systems

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Department of Chemistry; Health Research Institute; Department of Biological Sciences


Two NAD(P)H-biosensing probes consisting of 1,3,3-trimethyl-3H-indolium and 3-quinolinium acceptors, linked by thiophene, A, and 3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene, B, bridges are detailed. We synthesized probes C and D, replacing the thiophene connection in probe A with phenyl and 2,1,3-benzothiadiazole units, respectively. Probe E was prepared by substituting probe A's 3-quinolinium unit with a 1-methylquinoxalin-1-ium unit. Probe solutions are non-fluorescent but in the presence of NADH, exhibit near-infrared fluorescence at 742.1 nm and 727.2 nm for probes A and B, respectively, and generate absorbance signals at 690.6 nm and 685.9 nm. In contrast, probes C and D displayed pronounced interference from NADH fluorescence at 450 nm, whereas probe E exhibited minimal fluorescence alterations in response to NAD(P)H. Pre-treatment of A549 cells with glucose in the presence of probe A led to a significant increase in fluorescence intensity. Additionally, subjecting probe A to lactate and pyruvate molecules resulted in opposite changes in NAD(P)H levels, with lactate causing a substantial increase in fluorescence intensity, conversely, pyruvate resulted in a sharp decrease. Treatment of A549 cells with varying concentrations of the drugs cisplatin, gemcitabine, and camptothecin (5, 10, and 20 µM) led to a concentration-dependent increase in intracellular fluorescence intensity, signifying a rise in NAD(P)H levels. Finally, fruit fly larvae were treated with different concentrations of NADH and cisplatin illustrating applicability to live organisms. The results demonstrated a direct correlation between fluorescence intensity and the concentration of NADH and cisplatin, respectively, further confirming the efficacy of probe A in sensing changes in NAD(P)H levels within a whole organism.

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Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical