Selective uncoupling of individual mitochondria within a cell using a mitochondria-targeted photoactivated protonophore

Susan Chalmers, S.T. Caldwell, C Quin, T.A. Prime, A.M. James, Alan Cairns, M.P. Murphy, John McCarron, R.C. Hartley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

74 Citations (Scopus)


Depolarization of an individual mitochondrion or small clusters of mitochondria within cells has been achieved using a photoactivatable probe. The probe is targeted to the matrix of the mitochondrion by an alkyltriphenylphosphonium lipophilic cation and releases the protonophore 2,4-dinitrophenol locally in predetermined regions in response to directed irradiation with UV light via a local photolysis system. This also provides a proof of principle for the general temporally and spatially controlled release of bioactive molecules, pharmacophores, or toxins to mitochondria with tissue, cell, or mitochondrion specificity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)758-761
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012



  • mitochondria
  • photoactivated protonophore
  • pharmacophores
  • mitochondrion

Cite this