A FRET-based ratiometric fluorescent probe to detect cysteine metabolism in mitochondria†
As an important biothiol in living cells, cysteine is closely related to oxidative damage in living organisms. Sulfite from cysteine metabolism in living cells plays a crucial role in maintaining homeostasis in an organism, and the unbalance of sulfite in vivo would lead to multiple diseases. Thus the development of a new fluorescent probe for cysteine metabolism is needed urgently in mitochondria which are the main place of cysteine metabolism. Herein we construct a novel targeting mitochondria fluorescent probe CP-K based on the FRET mechanism to visualize sulfite in living MCF-7 cells. Probe CP-K displays a large Stokes shift of 150 nm, a low detection limit (26.3 nM) and “naked eye” detection after the addition of HSO3−. Importantly, it is appropriate for imaging the endogenous sulfite from cysteine metabolism in living cells.