Potential of BODIPY-cholesterol for analysis of cholesterol transport and diffusion in living cells Memorial Issue to Robert Bittman in Chemistry and Physics of Lipids

Daniel Wüstner, Frederik W. Lund, Clemens Röhrl, Herbert Stangl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cholesterol is an abundant and important lipid component of cellular membranes. Analysis of cholesterol transport and diffusion in living cells is hampered by the technical challenge of designing suitable cholesterol probes which can be detected for example by optical microscopy. One strategy is to use intrinsically fluorescent sterols, as dehydroergosterol (DHE), having minimal chemical alteration compared to cholesterol but giving low fluorescence signals in the UV region of the spectrum. Alternatively, one can use dye-tagged cholesterol analogs and in particular BODIPY-cholesterol (BChol), whose synthesis and initial characterization was pioneered by Robert Bittman. Here, we give a general overview of the properties and applications but also limitations of BODIPY-tagged cholesterol probes for analyzing intracellular cholesterol trafficking. We describe our own experiences and collaborative efforts with Bob Bittman for studying diffusion in the plasma membrane (PM) and uptake of BChol in a quantitative manner. For that purpose, we used a variety of fluorescence approaches including fluorescence correlation spectroscopy and its imaging variants, fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) and fluorescence loss in photobleaching (FLIP). We also describe pulse-chase studies from the PM using BChol in direct comparison to DHE. Based on the gathered imaging data, we present a two-step kinetic model for sterol transport between PM and recycling endosomes. In addition, we highlight the suitability of BChol for determining transport of lipoprotein-derived sterol using electron microscopy (EM) and show that this approach ideally complements fluorescence studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-28
Number of pages17
JournalChemistry and Physics of Lipids
Volume194
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cholesterol
  • Diffusion
  • FLIP
  • Fluorescence
  • FRAP
  • Membrane
  • Transport
  • Vesicle
  • Cell Survival
  • Cholesterol/chemistry
  • Humans
  • Endosomes/chemistry
  • Fluorescent Dyes/chemistry
  • Animals
  • Boron Compounds/chemistry
  • Biological Transport
  • Cell Membrane/chemistry

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