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Org Biomol Chem. 2019 Jun 26;17(25):6215-6220. doi: 10.1039/c9ob00356h.

Cucurbit[7]uril-conjugated dyes as live cell imaging probes: investigation on their cellular uptake and excretion pathways.

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Center for Self-assembly and Complexity (CSC), Institute for Basic Science (IBS), Pohang, 37673, Republic of Korea.


Here we report the endocytosis and excretion pathways of two different dye-conjugated cucurbit[7]urils, (cyanine 3-conjugated CB[7] and rhodamine X-conjugated CB[7]), which have great potential as molecular probes for live cell imaging. The dye-CB[7]s are translocated into live cells (human breast carcinoma cells, MCF-7) via multiple pathways, predominantly by clathrin-mediated endocytosis, and excreted from cells via lysosome-associated exocytosis. Interestingly, the CB[7] moiety has a substantial influence on the uptake and excretion pathways. These findings may widen the applications of the dyes conjugated to CB[7] and assist in the design of new molecular probes for live cell imaging.


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