Proteins constitute the functionalities of each individual cell. During their lifetime, proteins are constantly in motion; either freely diffusing in the cytoplasm or within cell membranes or being actively transported between cell organelles and functional phases. I am interested in analyzing and understanding diffusion and transport of proteins in living cells by tracking single-particles via iSCAT imaging.
Interferometric scattering microscopy reveals microsecond nanoscopic protein motion on a live cell membrane
Richard W. Taylor, Reza Gholami Mahmoodabadi, Verena Rauschenberger, Andreas Giessl, Alexandra Schambony, Vahid Sandoghdar
Much of the biological functions of a cell are dictated by the intricate motion of proteins within its membrane over a spatial range of nanometers to tens of micrometers and time intervals of microseconds to minutes. While this rich parameter space is not accessible to fluorescence microscopy, it can be within reach of interferometric scattering (iSCAT) particle tracking. Being sensitive even to single unlabeled proteins, however, iSCAT is easily accompanied by a large speckle-like background, which poses a substantial challenge for its application to cellular imaging. Here, we show that these difficulties can be overcome and demonstrate tracking of transmembrane epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR) with nanometer precision in all three dimensions at up to microsecond speeds and tens of minutes duration. We provide unprecedented examples of nanoscale motion and confinement in ubiquitous processes such as diffusion in the plasma membrane, transport on filopodia, and endocytosis.
High-precision protein-tracking with interferometric scattering microscopy
Richard W. Taylor, Cornelia Holler, Reza Gholami Mahmoodabadi, Michelle Küppers, Houman Mirzaalian Dastjerdi, Vasily Zaburdaev, Alexandra Schambony, Vahid Sandoghdar
Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
The mobility of proteins and lipids within the cell, sculpted oftentimes by the organisation of the membrane, reveals a great wealth of information on the function and interaction of these molecules as well as the membrane itself. Single particle tracking has proven to be a vital tool to study the mobility of individual molecules and unravel details of their behaviour. Interferometric scattering (iSCAT) microscopy is an emerging technique well suited for visualising the diffusion of gold nanoparticle-labelled membrane proteins to a spatial and temporal resolution beyond the means of traditional fluorescent labels. We discuss the applicability of interferometric single particle tracking (iSPT) microscopy to investigate the minutia in the motion of a protein through measurements visualising the mobility of the epidermal growth factor receptor in various biological scenarios on the live cell.
A paintbrush for delivery of nanoparticles and molecules to live cells with precise spatiotemporal control
Cornelia Holler, Richard W. Taylor, Alexandra Schambony, Leonhard Möckl, Vahid Sandoghdar
Delivery of very small amounts of reagents to the near-field of cells with micrometer spatial precision and millisecond time resolution is currently out of reach. Here we present μkiss as a micropipette-based scheme for brushing a layer of small molecules and nanoparticles onto the live cell membrane from a subfemtoliter confined volume of a perfusion flow. We characterize our system through both experiments and modeling, and find excellent agreement. We demonstrate several applications that benefit from a controlled brush delivery, such as a direct means to quantify local and long-range membrane mobility and organization as well as dynamical probing of intercellular force signaling.