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Nanotechnology

Aptamer-mediated indirect quantum dot labeling and fluorescent imaging of target proteins in living cells.


PMID 25422408

Abstract

Protein labeling for dynamic living cell imaging plays a significant role in basic biological research, as well as in clinical diagnostics and therapeutics. We have developed a novel strategy in which the dynamic visualization of proteins within living cells is achieved by using aptamers as mediators for indirect protein labeling of quantum dots (QDs). With this strategy, the target protein angiogenin was successfully labeled with fluorescent QDs in a minor intactness model, which was mediated by the aptamer AL6-B. Subsequent living cell imaging analyses indicated that the QDs nanoprobes were selectively bound to human umbilical vein endothelial cells, gradually internalized into the cytoplasm, and mostly localized in the lysosome organelle, indicating that the labeled protein retained high activity. Compared with traditional direct protein labeling methods, the proposed aptamer-mediated strategy is simple, inexpensive, and provides a highly selective, stable, and intact labeling platform that has shown great promise for future biomedical labeling and intracellular protein dynamic analyses.

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