Boron Schiff bases derived from α-amino acids as nucleoli/cytoplasm cell-staining fluorescent probes in vitro†
The size, shape, and number of nucleoli in a cell's nucleus might help to distinguish a malignant from a benign tumor. Cellular biology and histopathology often require better visualization to understand nucleoli-related processes, thus organelle-specific fluorescent markers are needed. Here, we report the design, synthesis, and fully chemo-photophysical characterization of fluorescent boron Schiff bases (BOSCHIBAs), derived from α-amino acids (i.e., phenylalanine, tyrosine and tryptophan), with nucleoli- and cytoplasm-specific staining in cells. It is the first time that Boron Schiff bases derived from α-amino acids act as notorious dual (nucleoli and cytoplasm) cell-staining fluorescent probes. The boron derivatives not only showed good photostability and acceptable quantum yields (∼5%) in solution, but also exhibited low cytotoxicity (>90% cell viability at 0.1 and 1 μg mL−1), which make them good candidates to be used in medical diagnosis.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Celebrating recent chemical science in Mexico