Tracking micro-optical resonances for identifying and sensing novel procaspase-3 protein marker released from cell cultures in response to toxins

Ying Jen Chen, Wei Xiang, Jochen Klucken, Frank Vollmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The response of cells to toxins is commonly investigated by detecting intracellular markers for cell death, such as caspase proteins. This requires the introduction of labels by the permeabilization or complete lysis of cells. Here we introduce a non-invasive tool for monitoring a caspase protein in the extracellular medium. The tool is based on highly sensitive optical micro-devices, referred to as whispering-gallery mode biosensors (WGMBs). WGMBs are functionalized with antibodies for the specific and label-free detection of procaspase-3 released from human embryonic kidney HEK293 and neuroglioma H4 cells after introducing staurosporine and rotenone toxins, respectively. Additional tests show that the extracellular accumulation of procaspase-3 is concomitant with a decrease in cell viability. The hitherto unknown release of procaspase-3 from cells in response to toxins and its accumulation in the medium is further investigated by Western blot, showing that the extracellular detection of procaspase-3 is interrelated with cytotoxicity of alpha-synuclein protein (aSyn) overexpressed in H4 cells. These studies provide evidence for procaspase-3 as a novel extracellular biomarker for cell death, with applications in cytotoxicity tests. Such WGMBs could be applied to further identify as-yet unknown extracellular biomarkers using established antibodies against intracellular antigens.

Original languageEnglish
Article number164001
JournalNanotechnology
Volume27
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • biosensing
  • caspase
  • cell death
  • label-free
  • optical microcavity
  • procaspase
  • whispering-gallery mode

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