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NADH-Activated Dual-Channel Fluorescent Probes for Multicolor Labeling of Live Cells and Tumor Mimic Spheroids

The 1,4-dihydronicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) is one of the key coenzymes that participates in various metabolic processes including maintaining the redox balance. Early information on the imbalance of NADH is crucial in the context of diagnosing the pathogenic conditions. Thus, a dual-channel fluorescent probe (MQN) is developed for tracking of NADH/NAD(P)H in live cells. In the presence of NADH, only it showed emission signals at 460 and 550 nm upon excitation at 390 and 450 nm, respectively. The probe could provide accurate information on NADH levels in cancer cells (HeLa) and normal cells (WI-38). We observed that the NADH level in cancer cells (HeLa) is relatively higher than that in normal WI-38 cells. We received similar information on NADH upon calibrating with a commercial NADH kit. Moreover, we evaluated substrate-specific NADH expression in the glycolysis pathway and oxidative phosphorylation process. Also, the dual-channel probe MQN has visualized NADH manipulation in the course of depletion of GSH to maintain cellular redox balance. This dual-channel molecular probe MQN comes out as a new detection tool for NADH levels in live cells and tumor mimic spheroids.