Modulation of Mitochondriotropic Properties of Cyanine Dyes by In Organello Copper-Free Click Reaction

I. Negwer, M. Hirsch, S. Kaloyanova, T. Brown, K. Peneva, H. Butt, K. Koynov and M. Helm. ChemBioChem 18 (18), 1814-1818, 2017.


Cyanine (Cy) dyes show a general propensity to localize in polarized mitochondria. This mitochondriotropism was used to perform a copper-free click reaction in the mitochondria of living cells. The in organello reaction of dyes Cy3 and Cy5 led to a product that was easily traceable by Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET). As determined by confocal laser scanning microscopy, the Cy3–Cy5 conjugate showed enhanced retention in mitochondria, relative to that of the starting compounds. This enhancement of a favorable property can be achieved by synthesis in organello, but not outside mitochondria.