Reaction-Based Probes for Imaging Mobile Zinc in Live Cells and Tissues
Author(s)Zastrow, Melissa L.; Radford, Robert John; Chyan, Wen; Anderson, Charles T.; Zhang, Daniel Y.; Loas, Andrei Ioan; Tzounopoulos, Thanos; Lippard, Stephen J.; ... Show more Show less
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Chelatable, or mobile, forms of zinc play critical signaling roles in numerous biological processes. Elucidating the action of mobile Zn(II) in complex biological environments requires sensitive tools for visualizing, tracking, and manipulating Zn(II) ions. A large toolbox of synthetic photoinduced electron transfer (PET)-based fluorescent Zn(II) sensors are available, but the applicability of many of these probes is limited by poor zinc sensitivity and low dynamic ranges owing to proton interference. We present here a general approach for acetylating PET-based probes containing a variety of fluorophores and zinc-binding units. The new sensors provide substantially improved zinc sensitivity and allow for incubation of live cells and tissue slices with nM probe concentrations, a significant improvement compared to the μM concentrations that are typically required for a measurable fluorescence signal. Acetylation effectively reduces or completely quenches background fluorescence in the metal-free sensor. Binding of Zn(II) selectively and quickly mediates hydrolytic cleavage of the acetyl groups, providing a large fluorescence response. An acetylated blue coumarin-based sensor was used to carry out detailed analyses of metal binding and metal-promoted acetyl hydrolysis. Acetylated benzoresorufin-based red-emitting probes with different zinc-binding sites are effective for sensing Zn(II) ions in live cells when applied at low concentrations (∼50–100 nM). We used green diacetylated Zinpyr1 (DA-ZP1) to image endogenous mobile Zn(II) in the molecular layer of mouse dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN), confirming that acetylation is a suitable approach for preparing sensors that are highly specific and sensitive to mobile zinc in biological systems.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Chemistry
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Zastrow, Melissa L., Robert J. Radford, Wen Chyan, Charles T. Anderson, Daniel Y. Zhang, Andrei Loas, Thanos Tzounopoulos, and Stephen J. Lippard. "Reaction-Based Probes for Imaging Mobile Zinc in Live Cells and Tissues." ACS Sensors 1:1 (2016), pp.32-39. © 2015 American Chemical Society.
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