22 February 2013 Activation of cell signaling via optical manipulation of gold-coated liposomes encapsulating signaling molecules
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Many diseases involve changes in cell signaling cascades, as seen commonly in drug resistant cancers. To better understand these intricate signaling events in diseased cells and tissues, experimental methods of probing cellular communication at a single to multi-cell level are required. We recently introduced a general platform for activation of selected signaling pathways by optically controlled delivery and release of water soluble factors using gold-coated liposomes. In the example presented here, we encapsulated inositol trisphosphate (IP3), a ubiquitous intracellular secondary messenger involved in GPCR and Akt signaling cascades, within 100 nm gold-coated liposomes. The high polarizability of the liposome’s unique gold pseudo-shell allows stable optical trapping for subcellular manipulation in the presence of cells. We take this optical manipulation further by optically injecting IP3-containing liposomes into the cytosol of a single cell to initiate localized cell signaling. Upon optical injection of liposomal IP3 into a single ovarian carcinoma cell, we observed localized activation as reported by changes in Indo-1 fluorescence intensity. With established gap junctions between the injected cell and neighboring cells, we monitored propagation of this signaling to and through nearby cells.
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Gabriel V. Orsinger, Gabriel V. Orsinger, Sarah J. Leung, Sarah J. Leung, Marek Romanowski, Marek Romanowski, "Activation of cell signaling via optical manipulation of gold-coated liposomes encapsulating signaling molecules", Proc. SPIE 8587, Imaging, Manipulation, and Analysis of Biomolecules, Cells, and Tissues XI, 85870M (22 February 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2005454; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2005454

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