Molecule of the Week (03)

The fluorescing characteristic of a Xanthene-based Zinc (II) complex chemosensor has been the recent study at Kyoto University (Ojida, Akio; Takashima, Ippei; Kohira, Takahiro; Hamachi, Itaru. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2008, 10.1021, p12095-12101) A chemosensor provides a means for monitoring the functions of biochemical substances/interactions. In the past, research of fluroescent chemosensors has been conducted to examine cations, anions, sugars, and proteins. The specific chemosensor in this article studied the fluorescence of intracellular ATP stores in living cells. This particular complex is “AWESOME” because if you look at the chemical structure before being treated with ATP you’ll notice that the two Zinc atoms are both bonded to the same oxygen. Upon breaking the Zn-O bonds the molecule opens up and the xanthene ring strongly fluoresces. The article included images of intracellular ATP stores fluorescing using the zinc (II) complex – pretty cool looking images. Honestly, I don’t completely understand the application of fluorescing complexes (I’m not a bio person) but I think it’s neat seeing that they can make things fluoresce in the body (actually – that’s kind of odd/gross).

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