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  1. We have investigated the biological properties of the osmium analogue of a potent ruthenium-based mitochondrial calcium uniporter inhibitor and have found it to possess distinct properties.

     
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  2. Luminescent lanthanides possess ideal properties for biological imaging, including long luminescent lifetimes and emission within the optical window. Here, we report a novel approach to responsive luminescent Tb( iii ) probes that involves direct modulation of the antenna excited triplet state energy. If the triplet energy lies too close to the 5 D 4 Tb( iii ) excited state (20 500 cm −1 ), energy transfer to 5 D 4 competes with back energy transfer processes and limits lanthanide-based emission. To validate this approach, a series of pyridyl-functionalized, macrocyclic lanthanide complexes were designed, and the corresponding lowest energy triplet states were calculated using density functional theory (DFT). Subsequently, three novel constructs L3 (nitro-pyridyl), L4 (amino-pyridyl) and L5 (fluoro-pyridyl) were synthesized. Photophysical characterization of the corresponding Gd( iii ) complexes revealed antenna triplet energies between 25 800 and 30 400 cm −1 and a 500-fold increase in quantum yield upon conversion of Tb( L3 ) to Tb( L4 ) using the biologically relevant analyte H 2 S. The corresponding turn-on reaction can be monitored using conventional, small-animal optical imaging equipment in presence of a Cherenkov radiation emitting isotope as an in situ excitation source, demonstrating that antenna triplet state energy modulation represents a viable approach to biocompatible, Tb-based optical turn-on probes. 
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  3. We report our investigation into the MCU-inhibitory activity of Co 3+ complexes in comparison to Ru265. These compounds reversibly inhibit the MCU with nanomolar potency. Mutagenesis studies and molecular docking simulations suggest that the complexes operate through interactions with the DIME motif of the MCU pore. 
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  4. Hydrogen sulfide (H 2 S) is an endogenous gasotransmitter with potential therapeutic value for treating a range of disorders, such as ischemia-reperfusion injury resulting from a myocardial infarction or stroke. However, the medicinal delivery of H 2 S is hindered by its corrosive and toxic nature. In addition, small molecule H 2 S donors often generate other reactive and sulfur-containing species upon H 2 S release, leading to unwanted side effects. Here, we demonstrate that H 2 S release from biocompatible porous solids, namely metal–organic frameworks (MOFs), is a promising alternative strategy for H 2 S delivery under physiologically relevant conditions. In particular, through gas adsorption measurements and density functional theory calculations we establish that H 2 S binds strongly and reversibly within the tetrahedral pockets of the fumaric acid-derived framework MOF-801 and the mesaconic acid-derived framework Zr-mes, as well as the new itaconic acid-derived framework CORN-MOF-2. These features make all three frameworks among the best materials identified to date for the capture, storage, and delivery of H 2 S. In addition, these frameworks are non-toxic to HeLa cells and capable of releasing H 2 S under aqueous conditions, as confirmed by fluorescence assays. Last, a cellular ischemia-reperfusion injury model using H9c2 rat cardiomyoblast cells corroborates that H 2 S-loaded MOF-801 is capable of mitigating hypoxia-reoxygenation injury, likely due to the release of H 2 S. Overall, our findings suggest that H 2 S-loaded MOFs represent a new family of easily-handled solid sources of H 2 S that merit further investigation as therapeutic agents. In addition, our findings add Zr-mes and CORN-MOF-2 to the growing lexicon of biocompatible MOFs suitable for drug delivery. 
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  5. Abstract

    The synthesis and characterization of the15N‐labeled analogue of the mitochondrial calcium uptake inhibitor [Cl(NH3)4Ru(μ‐N)Ru(NH3)4Cl]3+(Ru265) bearing [15N]NH3ligands is reported. Using [1H,15N] HSQC NMR spectroscopy, the rate constants for the axial chlorido ligand aquation of [15N]Ru265 in pH 7.4 buffer at 25 °C were found to bek1=(3.43±0.03)×10−4 s−1andk2=(4.03±0.09)×10−3 s−1. The reactivity of [15N]Ru265 towards biologically relevant small molecules was also assessed via this method, revealing that this complex can form coordination bonds to anionic oxygen and sulfur donors. Time‐based studies on these ligand‐binding reactions reveal this process to be slow relative to the time required for the complex to inhibit mitochondrial calcium uptake, suggesting that hydrogen‐bonding interactions, rather than the formation of coordination bonds, may play a more significant role in mediating the inhibitory properties of this complex.

     
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  6. Abstract

    Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a gaseous molecule that has received attention for its role in biological processes and therapeutic potential in diseases, such as ischemic reperfusion injury. Despite its clinical relevance, delivery of H2S to biological systems is hampered by its toxicity at high concentrations. Herein, we report the first metal‐based H2S donor that delivers this gas selectively to hypoxic cells. We further show that H2S release from this compound protects H9c2 rat cardiomyoblasts from an in vitro model of ischemic reperfusion injury. These results validate the utility of redox‐activated metal complexes as hypoxia‐selective H2S‐releasing agents for use as tools to study the role of this gaseous molecule in complex biological systems.

     
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  7. Abstract

    Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a gaseous molecule that has received attention for its role in biological processes and therapeutic potential in diseases, such as ischemic reperfusion injury. Despite its clinical relevance, delivery of H2S to biological systems is hampered by its toxicity at high concentrations. Herein, we report the first metal‐based H2S donor that delivers this gas selectively to hypoxic cells. We further show that H2S release from this compound protects H9c2 rat cardiomyoblasts from an in vitro model of ischemic reperfusion injury. These results validate the utility of redox‐activated metal complexes as hypoxia‐selective H2S‐releasing agents for use as tools to study the role of this gaseous molecule in complex biological systems.

     
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  8. Abstract

    The mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU) is the ion channel that mediates Ca2+uptake in mitochondria. Inhibitors of the MCU are valuable as potential therapeutic agents and tools to study mitochondrial Ca2+. The best‐known inhibitor of the MCU is the ruthenium compound Ru360. Although this compound is effective in permeabilized cells, it does not work in intact biological systems. We have recently reported the synthesis and characterization of Ru265, a complex that selectively inhibits the MCU in intact cells. Here, the physical and biological properties of Ru265 and Ru360 are described in detail. Using atomic absorption spectroscopy and X‐ray fluorescence imaging, we show that Ru265 is transported by organic cation transporter 3 (OCT3) and taken up more effectively than Ru360. As an explanation for the poor cell uptake of Ru360, we show that Ru360 is deactivated by biological reductants. These data highlight how structural modifications in metal complexes can have profound effects on their biological activities.

     
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