Pyrene based fluorescent probes for detecting endogenous zinc ions in live cells

Ying Hu, Yifan Liu, Gyoungmi Kim, Eun Jin Jun, K. M.K. Swamy, Youngmee Kim, Sung Jin Kim, Juyoung Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Two unique pyrene derivatives are reported as Zn2+selective fluorescent probes, in which two pyrenes bearing imine and OH groups are connected via an ether linker or thioether linker. Upon the addition of Zn2+, the resulting phenolate group can induce internal charge transfer (ICT) peaks, which can cause selective turn-on fluorescence of each probe at 550 nm. Bathochromic shifts of their emissions are observed upon the binding with Zn2+. Each probe can successfully image exogenous Zn2+ions as well as free zinc ions released during apoptosis. These results using live cells suggest that these pyrene derived probes can be very effective probes in zinc biology studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372-377
Number of pages6
JournalDyes and Pigments
StatePublished - Feb 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant from the National Creative Research Initiative programs of the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Korean government (MSIP) (No. 2012R1A3A2048814 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Apoptosis
  • Cell imaging
  • Fluorescence chemosensor
  • Pancreatic-cells
  • Pyrene derivatives
  • Zinc ion probe


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