The syntheses and photophysical behavior of nine strongly luminescent nonadentate Eu(III) complexes are reported. Each complex is based on N-functionalized 1,4,7-triazacyclononane, and linkage to other groups or targeting vectors can occur either via amide bond formation to a coordinated pyridine p-aminopropyl group or via a nucleophilic substitution reaction involving thiol attack on a metal coordinated p-nitropyridyl moiety. Evidence is presented in favor of the latter conjugation strategy, as parallel work with maleimide conjugates was complicated or compromised by the propensity to undergo post-conjugation thiol exchange or succinimide ring hydrolysis reactions. Confocal microscopy and spectral imaging studies revealed that the peptide conjugate of AcCFFKDEL was found to localize selectively in the endoplasmic reticulum of mouse fibroblast cells, whereas the related maleimide conjugate was only observed in cellular lysosomes.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank the Royal Society (RP), the EPSRC (MS, grant/EP 025013/1), and Cisbio Bioassays (JDF) for support.
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