Lysosome imaging in cancer cells by pyrene-benzothiazolium dyes: An alternative imaging approach for LAMP-1 expression based visualization methods to avoid background interference

Chathura S. Abeywickrama, Kaveesha J. Wijesinghe, Robert V. Stahelin, Yi Pang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

A series of pyrene-benzothiazolium dyes (1a–1d) were experimentally investigated to study their internalization mechanism into cellular lysosomes as well as their potential imaging applications for live cell imaging. The lysosome selectivity of the probes was further compared by using fluorescently tagged lysosome associated membrane protein-1 (LAMP-1) expression-dependent visualization in both normal (COS-7, HEK293) and cancer (A549, Huh 7.5) cell lines. These probes were successfully employed as reliable lysosome markers in tumor cell models, thus providing an attractive alternative to LAMP-1 expression-dependent visualization methods. One advantage of these probes is the elimination of significant background fluorescence arising from fluorescently tagged protein expression on the cell surface when cells were transfected with LAMP-1 expression plasmids. Probes exhibited remarkable ability to stain cellular lysosomes for long-term experiments (up to 24 h) and the highly lipophilic nature of the probe design allowed their accumulation in hydrophobic regions of the cellular lysosomes. Experimental evidences indicated that the probes are likely to be internalized into lysosomes via endocytosis and accumulated in the hydrophobic regions of the lysosomes rather than in the acidic lysosomal lumen. These probes also demonstrated significant stability and lysosome staining for fixed cell imaging applications as well. Lastly, the benzothiazolium moiety of the probes was identified as the key component for lysosome selectivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103144
JournalBioorganic Chemistry
Volume91
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry

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