All-in-one mitochondria-targeted NIR-II fluorophores for cancer therapy and imaging†
Small-molecule subcellular organelle-targeting theranostic probes are crucial for early disease diagnosis and treatment. The imaging window of these molecules is mainly focused on the visible and near-infrared region (below ∼900 nm) which limits the tissue penetration depth and therapeutic effects. Herein, a novel NIR-II small-molecule probe H4–PEG-Glu with a thiopyrylium cation was synthesized. H4–PEG-Glu not only can quickly and effectively image mitochondria in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells, and induce G0/G1 phase arrest by the intrinsic mitochondrial apoptosis pathway w/o irradiation, but also exhibit moderate cytotoxicity against AML cancer cells in a dose dependent-manner without laser irradiation. The THP-1 cells treated with H4–PEG-Glu upon NIR laser irradiation showed enhanced chemo- and photothermal therapy (CPTT) with 93.07% ± 6.43 apoptosis by Annexin V staining. Meanwhile, H4–PEG-Glu displayed high synergistic CPTT effects in vivo, as well as specific NIR-II tumor imaging in AML patient derived PDX mouse models for the first time. Our work lays down a solid foundation for designing small-molecule NIR-II mitochondria-selective theranostic probes.