Targeting cell surface receptors with ligand-conjugated nanocrystals.

Rosenthal SJ, Tomlinson I, Adkins EM, Schroeter S, Adams S, Swafford L, McBride J, Wang Y, DeFelice LJ, Blakely RD
J Am Chem Soc. 2002 124 (17): 4586-94

PMID: 11971705

To explore the potential for use of ligand-conjugated nanocrystals to target cell surface receptors, ion channels, and transporters, we explored the ability of serotonin-labeled CdSe nanocrystals (SNACs) to interact with antidepressant-sensitive, human and Drosophila serotonin transporters (hSERT, dSERT) expressed in HeLa and HEK-293 cells. Unlike unconjugated nanocrystals, SNACs were found to dose-dependently inhibit transport of radiolabeled serotonin by hSERT and dSERT, with an estimated half-maximal activity (EC(50)) of 33 (dSERT) and 99 microM (hSERT). When serotonin was conjugated to the nanocrystal through a linker arm (LSNACs), the EC(50) for hSERT was determined to be 115 microM. Electrophysiology measurements indicated that LSNACs did not elicit currents from the serotonin-3 (5HT(3)) receptor but did produce currents when exposed to the transporter, which are similar to those elicited by antagonists. Moreover, fluorescent LSNACs were found to label SERT-transfected cells but did not label either nontransfected cells or transfected cells coincubated with the high-affinity SERT antagonist paroxetine. These findings support further consideration of ligand-conjugated nanocrystals as versatile probes of membrane proteins in living cells.

MeSH Terms (18)

Animals Carrier Proteins Cell Line Electrophysiology HeLa Cells Humans Kidney Ligands Membrane Glycoproteins Membrane Transport Proteins Nanotechnology Nerve Tissue Proteins Oocytes Serotonin Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins Substrate Specificity Transfection Xenopus

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