Visualizing the endocytosis of phenylephrine in living cells by quantum dot-based tracking.

PMID 24855959


To study the intracellular receptor-drug transportation, a fluorescent probe consisting of phenylephrine-polyethylene glycol-quantum dots conjugate was employed to track endocytosis process of phenylephrine in living cells. This type of movement was studied by continuously filming fluorescent images in the same cell. We also calculated the movement parameters, and divided the endocytosis process into 6 stages. Furthermore, the movement parameters of this probe in different organelles were determined by co-localization of the probe fluorescent images and different cellular organelles. After comparing the parameters in cellular organelles with these in 6 stages, the whole endocytosis pathway was demonstrated. These results verified that this probe successfully tracked the whole intracellular dynamic endocytosis process of phenylephrine. Our method realized the visual tracking the whole receptor-mediated endocytosis, which is a new approach on investigating the molecular mechanisms and kinetic properties of intracellular receptor-drug transportation.