Design and synthesis of coumarin-based Zn2+ probes for ratiometric fluorescence imaging

Shin Mizukami, Satoshi Okada, Satoshi Kimura, Kazuya Kikuchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)


The physiological roles of free Zn2+ have attracted great attention. To clarify those roles, there has been a need for ratiometric fluorescent Zn2+ probes for practical use. We report the rational design and synthesis of a series of ratiometric fluorescent Zn2+ probes. The structures of the probes are based on the 7-hydroxycoumarin structure. We focused on the relationship between the electron-donating ability of the 7-hydroxy group and the excitation spectra of 7-hydroxycoumarins, and exploited that relationship in the design of the ratiometric probes; as a result, most of the synthesized probes showed ratiometric Zn2+ -sensing properties. Then, we designed and synthesized ratiometric Zn 2+ probes that can be excited with visible light, by choosing adequate substituents on coumarin dyes. Since one of the probes could permeate living cell membranes, we introduced the probe to living RAW264 cells and observed the intracellular Zn2+ concentration via ratiometric fluorescence microscopy. As a result, the ratio value of the probe changed quickly in response to intracellular Zn2+ concentration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7630-7638
Number of pages9
JournalInorganic chemistry
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Aug 17
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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