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Sensors 2015, 15(9), 24662-24680; doi:10.3390/s150924662

FRET-Based Nanobiosensors for Imaging Intracellular Ca2+ and H+ Microdomains

Ecole Normale Supérieure, Institut de Biologie de l'ENS (IBENS), Inserm U1024, CNRS UMR 8197, Paris F-75005, France
Department de Chimie, École Normale Supérieure-PSL Research University, CNRS UMR 7203 LBM, 24, rue Lhomond, and Sorbonne University, UPMC Univ Paris 06 LBM, 4 place Jussieu, Paris F-75005, France
Inserm U836, Grenoble Neuroscience Institute, Research Group 3, LabEx Ion Channel Science and Therapeutics, Joseph Fourier University, BP170, Grenoble Cedex 09 38042, France
Brain Physiology Laboratory, CNRS UMR 8118, Faculté des Sciences Fondamentales et Biomédicales, Fédération de Neurosciences FR3636, Paris Descartes University, PRES Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris F-75006, France
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Niko Hildebrandt
Received: 24 July 2015 / Revised: 14 September 2015 / Accepted: 16 September 2015 / Published: 23 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue FRET Biosensors)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1439 KB, uploaded 24 September 2015]   |  


Semiconductor nanocrystals (NCs) or quantum dots (QDs) are luminous point emitters increasingly being used to tag and track biomolecules in biological/biomedical imaging. However, their intracellular use as highlighters of single-molecule localization and nanobiosensors reporting ion microdomains changes has remained a major challenge. Here, we report the design, generation and validation of FRET-based nanobiosensors for detection of intracellular Ca2+ and H+ transients. Our sensors combine a commercially available CANdot®565QD as an energy donor with, as an acceptor, our custom-synthesized red-emitting Ca2+ or H+ probes. These ‘Rubies’ are based on an extended rhodamine as a fluorophore and a phenol or BAPTA (1,2-bis(o-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N′,N′-tetra-acetic acid) for H+ or Ca2+ sensing, respectively, and additionally bear a linker arm for conjugation. QDs were stably functionalized using the same SH/maleimide crosslink chemistry for all desired reactants. Mixing ion sensor and cell-penetrating peptides (that facilitate cytoplasmic delivery) at the desired stoichiometric ratio produced controlled multi-conjugated assemblies. Multiple acceptors on the same central donor allow up-concentrating the ion sensor on the QD surface to concentrations higher than those that could be achieved in free solution, increasing FRET efficiency and improving the signal. We validate these nanosensors for the detection of intracellular Ca2+ and pH transients using live-cell fluorescence imaging. View Full-Text
Keywords: quantum dot nanobiosensors; nanoparticle surface chemistry; FRET-based Ca2+ and H+ probes; red-emitting indicator; intracellular Ca2+ and H+ fluorometry; cell-penetrating peptide; concentration microdomain quantum dot nanobiosensors; nanoparticle surface chemistry; FRET-based Ca2+ and H+ probes; red-emitting indicator; intracellular Ca2+ and H+ fluorometry; cell-penetrating peptide; concentration microdomain

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Zamaleeva, A.I.; Despras, G.; Luccardini, C.; Collot, M.; de Waard, M.; Oheim, M.; Mallet, J.-M.; Feltz, A. FRET-Based Nanobiosensors for Imaging Intracellular Ca2+ and H+ Microdomains. Sensors 2015, 15, 24662-24680.

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