A new bifunctional macrocyclic chelator featuring a conjugatable alkynyl-naphthalimide fluorophore pendant group has been prepared and its Gd(III) complex coupled to a cell-penetrating lipidated azido-Tat peptide derivative using Cu(I)-catalysed "click" chemistry. The resulting fluorescent conjugate is able to enter CAL-33 tongue squamous carcinoma cells, as revealed by confocal microscopy, producing a very modest anti-proliferative effect (IC50 = 93 μM). Due to the photo-reactivity of the naphthalimide moiety, however, the conjugate's cytotoxicity is significantly enhanced (IC50 = 16 μM) upon brief low-power UV - A irradiation.
- Cell-penetrating peptide
- Gadolinium complex