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    Mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles with interconnected tubule structures that are sensitive to environmental stress and light illumination. Super-resolution optical imaging of mitochondrial dynamics is of significance for understanding such biological events. Direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy has the advantages of a high spatial resolution, low phototoxicity in live-cell imaging, and the capacity to incorporate smart fluorescent probes. However, dSTORM imaging in live cells is challenging because of the requirement for an imaging buffer and a low temporal resolution. In this work, we achieved dSTORM imaging of mitochondrial dynamics in live cells with a disulfide-substituted Cy5 probe without using any toxic imaging buffer. Under the illumination of very low laser power, the probe exhibited spontaneous photoblinking triggered by disulfide-bond reduction in mitochondria of live cells. The obtained thiol attacked nearby carbon to form a six-membered ring and the reversible opening/closing of the ring produced spontaneous photoblinking behavior. With this new STORM strategy, we achieved observation of mitochondrial dynamics for more than 3 min, which provides a promising tool for further studies of mitochondria with an ultrafine structure.


    Wen Li, Wenhui Pan, Meina Huang, Zhigang Yang, Ying He, Wei Zhang, Jianguo Zhang, Zhenyu Gu, Dan Zhang, Wei Yan, Junle Qu. Disulfide-Reduction-Triggered Spontaneous Photoblinking Cy5 Probe for Nanoscopic Imaging of Mitochondrial Dynamics in Live Cells. Analytical chemistry. 2021 Feb 02;93(4):2596-2602

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    PMID: 33464055

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