A range of mitochondria-targeted probe molecules that comprise a lipophilic cation covalently attached to an active moiety have been developed. The lipophilic cation causes the accumulation of these molecules into mitochondria, driven by the mitochondrial membrane potential. To date, we have targeted antioxidants, spin traps, thiol reagents and DNA-alkylating compounds to mitochondria. The selective mitochondrial localization of these compounds enables us to investigate several aspects of the production of reactive oxygen species by mitochondria.
© 2004 The Biochemical Society