Mariz et al. Commun. Chem. 2021;4(1):142. Two-photon activated precision molecular photosensitizer targeting mitochondria.

Publicaciones > Mariz et al

Two-photon activated precision molecular photosensitizer targeting mitochondria.


Mitochondria metabolism is an emergent target for the development of novel anticancer agents. It is amply recognized that strategies that allow for modulation of mitochondrial function in specific cell populations need to be developed for the therapeutic potential of mitochondria-targeting agents to become a reality in the clinic. In this work, we report dipolar and quadrupolar quinolizinium and benzimidazolium cations that show mitochondria targeting ability and localized light-induced mitochondria damage in live animal cells. Some of the dyes induce a very efficient disruption of mitochondrial potential and subsequent cell death under two-photon excitation in the Near-infrared (NIR) opening up possible applications of azonia/azolium aromatic heterocycles as precision photosensitizers. The dipolar compounds could be excited in the NIR due to a high two-photon brightness while exhibiting emission in the red part of the visible spectra (600–700 nm). Interaction with the mitochondria leads to an unexpected blue-shift of the emission of the far-red emitting compounds, which we assign to emission from the locally excited state. Interaction and possibly aggregation at the mitochondria prevents access to the intramolecular charge transfer state responsible for far-red emission.