Fluorescent probe based on intramolecular proton transfer for fast ratiometric measurement of cellular transmembrane potential

The Journal of Physical Chemistry. B
Andrey S KlymchenkoYves Mély


Development of fast-response potentiometric probes for measuring the transmembrane potential Vm in cell plasma membranes remains a challenge. To overcome the limitations of the classical charge-shift potentiometric probes, we selected a 3-hydroxychromone fluorophore undergoing an excited-state intramolecular proton transfer (ESIPT) reaction that generates a dual emission highly sensitive to electric fields. To achieve the highest sensitivity to the electric field associated to Vm, we modified the fluorophore by adding two rigid legs containing terminal polar sulfonate groups to allow a deep vertical insertion of the fluorophore into the membrane. Fluorescence spectra of the new dye in lipid vesicles and cell membranes confirm the fluorophore location in the hydrophobic region of the membranes. Variation of Vm in lipid vesicles and cell plasma membranes results in a change of the intensity ratio of the two emission bands of the probe. The ratiometric response of the dye in cells is approximately 15% per 100 mV, and is thus quite large in comparison with most single-fluorophore, fast-response probes reported to date. Combined patch-clamp/fluorescence data further show that the ratiometric response of the dye in cells is faster th...Continue Reading


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