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Visible-near-infrared and fluorescent copper sensors based on julolidine conjugates: selective detection and fluorescence imaging in living cells.

Chemistry (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany) (2011-09-02)
Debabrata Maity, Arun K Manna, D Karthigeyan, Tapas K Kundu, Swapan K Pati, T Govindaraju
ABSTRACT

We present novel Schiff base ligands julolidine-carbonohydrazone 1 and julolidine-thiocarbonohydrazone 2 for selective detection of Cu(2+) in aqueous medium. The planar julolidine-based ligands can sense Cu(2+) colorimetrically with characteristic absorbance in the near-infrared (NIR, 700-1000 nm) region. Employing molecular probes 1 and 2 for detection of Cu(2+) not only allowed detection by the naked eye, but also detection of varying micromolar concentrations of Cu(2+) due to the appearance of distinct coloration. Moreover, Cu(2+) selectively quenches the fluorescence of julolidine-thiocarbonohydrazone 2 among all other metal ions, which increases the sensitivity of the probe. Furthermore, quenched fluorescence of the ligand 2 in the presence of Cu(2+) was restored by adjusting the complexation ability of the ligand. Hence, by treatment with ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), thus enabling reversibility and dual-check signaling, julolidine-thiocarbonohydrazone (2) can be used as a fluorescent molecular probe for the sensitive detection of Cu(2+) in biological systems. The ligands 1 and 2 can be utilized to monitor Cu(2+) in aqueous solution over a wide pH range. We have investigated the structural, electronic, and optical properties of the ligands using ab initio density functional theory (DFT) combined with time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) calculations. The observed absorption band in the NIR region is attributed to the formation of a charge-transfer complex between Cu(2+) and the ligand. The fluorescence-quenching behavior can be accounted for primarily due to the excited-state ligand 2 to metal (Cu(2+)) charge-transfer (LMCT) processes. Thus, experimentally observed characteristic NIR and fluorescence optical responses of the ligands upon binding to Cu(2+) are well supported by the theoretical calculations. Subsequently, we have employed julolidine-thiocarbonohydrazone 2 for reversible fluorescence sensing of intracellular Cu(2+) in cultured HEK293T cells.

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Sigma-Aldrich
Thiocarbohydrazide, 98%