Prion strain discrimination using luminescent conjugated polymers.
ABSTRACT The occurrence of multiple strains of prions may reflect conformational variability of PrP(Sc), a disease-associated, aggregated variant of the cellular prion protein, PrP(C). Here we used luminescent conjugated polymers (LCPs), which emit conformation-dependent fluorescence spectra, for characterizing prion strains. LCP reactivity and emission spectra of brain sections discriminated among four immunohistochemically indistinguishable, serially mouse-passaged prion strains derived from sheep scrapie, chronic wasting disease (CWD), bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), and mouse-adapted Rocky Mountain Laboratory scrapie prions. Furthermore, using LCPs we differentiated between field isolates of BSE and bovine amyloidotic spongiform encephalopathy, and identified noncongophilic deposits in prion-infected deer and sheep. We found that fibrils with distinct morphologies generated from chemically identical recombinant PrP yielded unique LCP spectra, suggesting that spectral characteristic differences resulted from distinct supramolecular PrP structures. LCPs may help to detect structural differences among discrete protein aggregates and to link protein conformational features with disease phenotypes.
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ABSTRACT: A wide range of neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by the deposition of multiple protein aggregates. Ligands for molecular characterization and discrimination of these pathological hallmarks are thus important for understanding their potential role in pathogenesis as well as for clinical diagnosis of the disease. In this regard, luminescent conjugated oligothiophenes (LCOs) have proven useful for spectral discrimination of amyloid-beta (Aβ) and tau neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs), two of the pathological hallmarks associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Herein, the solvatochromism of a library of anionic pentameric thiophene-based ligands, as well as their ability to spectrally discriminate Aβ and tau aggregates, were investigated. Overall, the results from this study identified distinct solvatochromic and viscosity-dependent behavior of thiophene-based ligands that can be applied as indices to direct the chemical design of improved LCOs for spectral separation of Aβ and tau aggregates in brain tissue sections. The results also suggest that the observed spectral transitions of the ligands are due to their ability to conform by induced fit to specific microenvironments within the binding interface of each particular protein aggregate. We foresee that these findings might aid in the chemical design of thiophene-based ligands that are increasingly selective for distinct disease-associated protein aggregates.Chemistry - A European Journal 08/2014; · 5.93 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Molecular probes for imaging of live cells are of great interest for studying biological and pathological processes. The anionic luminescent conjugated polythiophene (LCP) polythiophene acetic acid (PTAA), has previously been used for vital staining of cultured fibroblasts as well as transformed cells with results indicating differential staining due to cell phenotype. Herein, we investigated the behavior of PTAA in two normal and five transformed cells lines. PTAA fluorescence in normal cells appeared in a peripheral punctated pattern whereas the probe was more concentrated in a one-sided perinuclear localization in the five transformed cell lines. In fibroblasts, PTAA fluorescence was initially associated with fibronectin and after 24 h partially localized to lysosomes. The uptake and intracellular target in malignant melanoma cells was more ambiguous and the intracellular target of PTAA in melanoma cells is still elusive. PTAA was well tolerated by both fibroblasts and melanoma cells, and microscopic analysis as well as viability assays showed no signs of negative influence on growth. Stained cells maintained their proliferation rate for at least 12 generations. Although the probe itself was nontoxic, photoinduced cellular toxicity was observed in both cell lines upon irradiation directly after staining. However, no cytotoxicity was detected when the cells were irradiated 24 h after staining, indicating that the photoinduced toxicity is dependent on the cellular location of the probe. Overall, these studies certified PTAA as a useful agent for vital staining of cells, and that PTAA can potentially be used to study cancer-related biological and pathological processes. © 2015 International Society for Advancement of CytometryCytometry Part A 01/2015; · 3.71 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Abstract Fluorescent compounds capable of staining cells selectively without affecting their viability are gaining importance in biology and medicine. Recently, a new family of optical dyes, denoted luminescent conjugated oligothiophenes (LCOs), has emerged as an interesting class of highly emissive molecules for studying various biological phenomena. Properly functionalized LCOs have been utilized for selective identification of disease-associated protein aggregates and for selective detection of distinct cells. Herein, we present data on differential staining of various cell types, including cancer cells. The differential staining observed with newly developed pentameric LCOs is attributed to distinct side chain functionalities along the thiophene backbone. Employing flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy we examined a library of LCOs for stainability of a variety of cell lines. Among tested dyes we found promising candidates that showed strong or moderate capability to stain cells to different extent, depending on target cells. Hence, LCOs with diverse imidazole motifs along the thiophene backbone were identified as an interesting class of agents for staining of cancer cells, whereas LCOs with other amino acid side chains along the backbone showed a complete lack of staining for the cells included in the study. Furthermore, for p-HTMI,a LCO functionalized with methylated imidazole moieties, the staining was dependent on the p53 status of the cells, indicating that the molecular target for the dye is a cellular component regulated by p53. We foresee that functionalized LCOs will serve as a new class of optical ligands for fluorescent classification of cells and expand the toolbox of reagents for fluorescent live imaging of different cells. © 2014 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.Cytometry Part A 02/2014; · 3.07 Impact Factor