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Carbon monoxide (CO) is a signaling molecule in humans. Prior research suggests that therapeutic levels of CO can have beneficial effects in treating a variety of physiological and pathological conditions. To facilitate understanding of the role of CO in biology, molecules that enable fluorescence detection of CO in living systems have emerged as an important class of chemical tools. A key unmet challenge in this field is the development of fluorescent analyte replacement probes that replenish the CO that is consumed during detection. Herein, we report the first examples of CO sense and release molecules that involve combining a common CO-sensing motif with a light-triggered CO-releasing flavonol scaffold. A notable advantage of the flavonol-based CO sense and release motif is that it is trackable via fluorescence in both its pre- and postsensing (pre-CO release) forms. In vitro studies revealed that the PdCl2 and Ru(II)-containing CORM-2 used in the CO sensing step can result in metal coordination to the flavonol, which minimizes the subsequent CO release reactivity. However, CO detection followed by CO release is demonstrated in living cells, indicating that a cellular environment mitigates the flavonol/metal interactions.
Popova, Marina, et al. “CO Sense and Release Flavonols: Progress toward the Development of an Analyte Replacement PhotoCORM for Use in Living Cells.” ACS Omega, vol. 5, no. 17, May 2020, pp. 10021–33. DOI.org (Crossref), doi:10.1021/acsomega.0c00409.