Luo Zhang, Chenxing Sun, Yizheng Tan and Huaping Xu
CCS Chem., 2022, 4, 2249.
Thioredoxin reductase (TrxR) is an essential enzyme for regulating the redox balance in cells, promoting cell proliferation, and inhibiting cell apoptosis. The biochemical pathway of TrxR metabolism involves a series of selenium-sulfur (Se-S) dynamic chemistry. Theoretically, nanomaterials with Se-S dynamic bonds could exhibit TrxR-mimetic activities to tune TrxR activity and thus affect the cell activities. Herein, we report the selenium-sulfur-doped carbon dots (Se-S-CDs) synthesized by a facile hydrothermal method. The Se-S-CDs exhibited good stability and solubility in aqueous solution with a quantum yield of 13.27%. The doping of Se-S bonds endows the Se-S-CDs with great capability of enhancing the TrxR activity and the consequent remarkable promotion of cell viability. The significance of Se-S bonds as well as the carbon dots as matrix were discussed. Moreover, the Se-S-CDs could also revive the cells from the damage induced by oxidative stress. The abovementioned properties demonstrated the potential of the Se-S-CDs for cells and tissues culturing, solving the poor cell viability issue which is desperately needed for organ transplantation, and revitalizing prematurely aging cells especially those exposed to oxidative stress.