Positive charge-dependent cell targeted staining and DNA detection†
The chemical structures or positive charge-guided specific cell organelles' staining was an interesting but very challenging research work. In this paper, we synthesized a series of triphenylamine (TPA) derivatives with mono-, di- and tri-pyridinium as substituent groups. By exchanging the negative ions (I−, BF4− and PF6−) between them, a platform containing small compounds was established. After that, mammalian cells of HeLa and plant cells of BY-2 were employed for the study on cell imaging. The results clearly demonstrated that mono-pyridinium derivatives (TPA-Py-I−, TPA-Py-BF4− and TPA-Py-PF6−) are mitochondrion-targeted (for HeLa cells) and cell wall-targeted (for BY-2 cells). However, both di- and tri-pyridinium substituted derivatives (TPA-diPy-BF4− and TPA-triPy-BF4−) were nucleus-targeted for both cell lines. From these important findings, we can conclude that the quantity of positive charge plays a decisive role in different cell organelle-targeted staining. We also declared that our research results were very useful for designing and synthesizing probes with good cellular uptake capability, significantly enhanced targeting ability, and DNA detection.