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Site-dependent fluorescence enhanced polymers with a self-restricted GFP chromophore for living cell imaging

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Abstract

The β-barrel structure of green fluorescent protein (GFP) provides a confined environment to enhance its fluorescence efficiency. Inspired by the unique structure of GFP, we reported a self-restricted GFP chromophore analogue which was rationally grafted onto the middle or the terminal of poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) (PEG-b-PNIPAM) via click chemistry to obtain PEG-GA-PNIPAM and PEG-PNIPAM-GA (GA: MeOBDPI). These structures were characterized through NMR, GPC, and FT-IR. By varying the length of PNIPAM and the location of the GFP chromophore, self-assembly behaviour and fluorescence intensity were correspondingly changed. PEG-GA-PNIPAM and PEG-PNIPAM-GA were assembled into nano-sized spherical micelles above the low critical solution temperature (LCST). The size of the micelles increased with the length of the PNIPAM block. These optical properties were carefully evaluated by UV-Vis and fluorescence spectroscopy. The results indicated that increasing the length of the PNIPAM block enhanced the fluorescence in water, and PEG-PNIPAM74-GA has more remarkable fluorescence intensity than PEG-GA-PNIPAM106 in living cells such as MCF-7 cells. Furthermore, the fluorescence behaviour of PEG-PNIPAM74-GA was studied in MCF-7 cells and L929 cells. The result showed that PEG-PNIPAM74-GA was mostly located in the cytoplasm. Compared with the CellTracker™ Red CMTPX dye, it could enter into MCF-7 cells and L929 cells more easily in DMEM with 10% FBS. Therefore, PEG-PNIPAM74-GA has potential application prospects for living cell imaging.

Graphical abstract: Site-dependent fluorescence enhanced polymers with a self-restricted GFP chromophore for living cell imaging

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Publication details

The article was received on 16 Feb 2019, accepted on 12 Mar 2019 and first published on 14 Mar 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C9BM00255C
Citation: Biomater. Sci., 2019, Advance Article

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    Site-dependent fluorescence enhanced polymers with a self-restricted GFP chromophore for living cell imaging

    W. Fan, H. Deng, L. Zhu, C. Tu, Y. Su, L. Shi, J. Yang, L. Zhou, L. Xu and X. Zhu, Biomater. Sci., 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9BM00255C

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