Defining Cancer Cell Bioenergetic Profiles Using a Dual Organelle-Oriented Chemosensor Responsive to pH Values and Electropotential Changes

Anal Chem. 2017 Jul 18;89(14):7795-7801. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.7b01934. Epub 2017 Jul 3.


Cell fate is largely shaped by combined activity of different types of organelles, which often feature functionally critical parameters that succumb to pathological inducers. We herein report the analysis of cell bioenergetic profiles with a dual organelle-oriented chemosensor (RC-AMI), partitioning in mitochondria to give blue fluorescence and in lysosomes to give red fluorescence. Responsive to lysosomal pH and mitochondrial transmembrane potential (ΔΨm), two parameters crucial to cell bioenergetics, RC-AMI enables dual colored reporting of lysosomal acidity and ΔΨm, revealing upregulated ΔΨm and imbalance dramatically shifted favoring ΔΨm over lysosomal acidity in cancer cells whereas the tendency is reversed in starved cells. Complementing classical homo-organelle-specific sensors, this dual organelle-oriented and fluorescently responsive probe offers a new tool to detect imbalance between lysosomal acidity and mitochondrial ΔΨm, an index critical for cancer bioenergetics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't