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Gwangju, South Korea

Won S.,Bio Imaging Research Center | Kim H.-D.,Bio Imaging Research Center | Lee B.-C.,Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology | Chang S.,Seoul National University | And 2 more authors.
Biophysical Journal | Year: 2010

The movements of BKCa channels were investigated in live cells using quantum dots (QDs). The extracellular N-terminus was metabolically tagged with biotin, labeled with streptavidin-conjugated QDs and then monitored using real-time time-lapse imaging in COS-7 cells and cultured neurons. By tracking hundreds of channels, we were able to determine the characteristics of channel movements quantitatively. Channels in COS-7 cells exhibited a confined diffusion in an area of 1.915 μm2, with an initial diffusion coefficient of 0.033 μm2/s. In neurons, the channel movements were more heterogeneous and highly dependent on subcellular location. While the channels in soma diffused slowly without clear confinement, axodendritic channels showed more rapid and pseudo-one-dimensional movements. Intriguingly, the channel movement in somata was drastically increased by the neuronal β4 subunit, in contrast to the channels in the axodendritic area where the mobility were significantly decreased. Thus, our results demonstrate that the membrane mobility of BKCa channels can be greatly influenced by the expression system used, subunit composition, and subcellular location. This QD-based, single-molecule tracking technique can be utilized to investigate the cellular mechanisms that determine the mobility as well as the localization of various membrane proteins in live cells. © 2010 by the Biophysical Society.

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