Masayasu Taki Nagoya University
Lipid droplets (LDs) are essential organelle in most eukaryotes, and tracking intracellular LDs dynamics using synthetic small molecules is crucial for biological studies. However, only a limited number of fluorescent markers that satisfy all requirements, such as the selective staining of LDs, high photostability, and sufficient biocompatibility, have been developed. Herein, we report a series of donor-p-acceptor dyes based on the thiophene-containing fused polycyclic scaffold benzothieno[3,2-b]benzothiophene (BTBT), in which either or both thiophene rings are oxidized into thiophene-S,S-dioxide to form an electron-accepting building block. Among these dyes, LAQ1 satisfied all the aforementioned requirements, and allowed us capturing ultra-small LDs on the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane by stimulation emission depletion (STED) microscopy with a super-resolution below the diffraction limit of light. Moreover, the extremely high photostability of LAQ1 enabled recording the lipolysis of LDs and the concomitant lipogenesis as well as long-term trajectory analysis of micro LDs at the single particle level in living cells.
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