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Dye efflux assay evaluated by flow cytometry is useful for stem cell studies. The side population (SP) cells, characterized by the capacity to efflux Hoechst 33342 dye, have been shown to be enriched for hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in bone marrow. In addition, SP cells are isolated from various tissues and cell lines, and are also potential candidates for cancer stem cells. However, ultra violet (UV) light, which is not common for every flow cytometer, is required to excite Hoechst 33342. Here we showed that a fluorescent indoline dye</a> ZMB793 can be excited by 488-nm laser, equipped in almost all the modern flow cytometers, and ZMB793-excluding cells showed SP phenotype. HSCs were exclusively enriched in the ZMB793-excluding cells, while ZMB793 was localized in cytosol of bone marrow lineage cells. The efflux of ZMB793 dye was mediated by ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporter Abcg2. Moreover, staining properties were affected by the side-chain structure of the dyes. These data indicate that the fluorescent dye ZMB793 could be used for the SP cell analysis. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Hiroshi Kohara, Kohei Watanabe, Taichi Shintou, Tsuyoshi Nomoto, Mie Okano, Tomoaki Shirai, Takeshi Miyazaki, Yasuhiko Tabata. The use of fluorescent indoline dyes for side population analysis. Biomaterials. 2013 Jan;34(4):1024-32

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PMID: 23146431

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