Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2017, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (8): 1573-1588.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB201704284

Special Issue: Special Issue for Highly Cited Researchers

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Fluorescent Probes for Mitochondrial Reactive Oxygen Species in Biological Systems

Zhang-Rong LOU,Peng LI,Ke-Li HAN*()   

  • Received:2017-02-22 Published:2017-06-14
  • Contact: Ke-Li HAN
  • Supported by:
    The project was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China(21503224);The project was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China(21673237)


In addition to being the energy powerhouse of the cell, mitochondria are an important source of reactive oxygen species (ROS) during the process of molecular oxygen metabolism. Mitochondrial ROS are closely associated with normal physiological functions as well as human diseases, and participate in cell signaling, nucleic acid and protein damage, and oxidative stress induction. However, the complicated interplay between mitochondrial ROS and the cellular pathological state has not been fully elucidated. It is expected that research on the mitochondrial ROS undertaking in the molecular pathogenesis of human diseases would benefit from development of efficient tools for the detection of these ROS. In recent years, an increasing number of fluorescent probes for mitochondrial ROS with high sensitivity and selectivity have been developed. Here, we present a review of the recent advances in small molecular fluorescent probes for selective detection of ROS inside the mitochondria. In this review, the design, synthesis, characteristics, and applications of the published fluorescent probes for mitochondrial ROS are discussed in detail.

Key words: Fluorescent probe, Mitochondria, Reactive oxygen species, Small molecule, Living cells