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Comparative study of the constitution and chiroptical properties of emissive terbium and europium complexes with a common tetraazatriphenylene sensitiser; the nature of the sensitiser determines quenching sensitivity and cellular uptake
Six pairs of Eu(III) and Tb(III) complexes of macrocyclic ligands, incorporating a common tetraazatriphenylene sensitiser, have been examined in terms of their solution structure, sensitivity to excited state quenching, protein affinity, cell toxicity and preliminary celllocalisation profiles. A complex with three (S)-phenylalanine-derived ligating groups possesses distinctive 1H NMR, Eu emission and circularly polarised emission properties, consistent with a unique Λ-configuration in the 9-coordinate complex, where an amidecarbonyl group occupies the capping position of the coordination polyhedron. Each complex possesses similar sensitivity to quenching by ascorbate, urate and iodide, has similar toxicity behaviour and shows a common intracellularlocalisation profile that is consistent with compartmentalisation in lysosomes or late endosomes. Such behaviour accords with the hypothesis that it is the nature of the sensitising moiety that determines each of these properties.
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