Mitochondrial superoxide (O2⋅−) underlies much oxidative damage and redox signaling. Fluorescent probes can detect O2⋅−, but are of limited applicability in vivo, while in cells their usefulness is constrained by side reactions and DNA intercalation. To overcome these limitations, we developed a dual-purpose mitochondrial O2⋅− probe, MitoNeoD, which can assess O2⋅− changes in vivo by mass spectrometry and in vitro by fluorescence. MitoNeoD comprises a O2⋅−-sensitive reduced phenanthridinium moiety modified to prevent DNA intercalation, as well as a carbon-deuterium bond to enhance its selectivity for O2⋅− over non-specific oxidation, and a triphenylphosphonium lipophilic cation moiety leading to the rapid accumulation within mitochondria. We demonstrated that MitoNeoD was a versatile and robust probe to assess changes in mitochondrial O2⋅− from isolated mitochondria to animal models, thus offering a way to examine the many roles of mitochondrial O2⋅− production in health and disease. Current methods to assess mitochondrial O2⋅− cannot be applied in vivo and are artifact prone. Here Shchepinova et al. introduce MitoNeoD, which can be used to assess changes in mitochondrial O2⋅− by fluorescence and by mass spectrometry.
- ROS measurement