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2021 ◽  
Vol 22 (18) ◽  
pp. 9945
Luisa Galla ◽  
Nicola Vajente ◽  
Diana Pendin ◽  
Paola Pizzo ◽  
Tullio Pozzan ◽  

Calcium (Ca2+) exerts a pivotal role in controlling both physiological and detrimental cellular processes. This versatility is due to the existence of a cell-specific molecular Ca2+ toolkit and its fine subcellular compartmentalization. Study of the role of Ca2+ in cellular physiopathology greatly benefits from tools capable of quantitatively measuring its dynamic concentration ([Ca2+]) simultaneously within organelles and in the cytosol to correlate localized and global [Ca2+] changes. To this aim, as nucleoplasm Ca2+ changes mirror those of the cytosol, we generated a novel nuclear-targeted version of a Föster resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based Ca2+ probe. In particular, we modified the previously described nuclear Ca2+ sensor, H2BD3cpv, by substituting the donor ECFP with mCerulean3, a brighter and more photostable fluorescent protein. The thorough characterization of this sensor in HeLa cells demonstrated that it significantly improved the brightness and photostability compared to the original probe, thus obtaining a probe suitable for more accurate quantitative Ca2+ measurements. The affinity for Ca2+ was determined in situ. Finally, we successfully applied the new probe to confirm that cytoplasmic and nucleoplasmic Ca2+ levels were similar in both resting conditions and upon cell stimulation. Examples of simultaneous monitoring of Ca2+ signal dynamics in different subcellular compartments in the very same cells are also presented.

2021 ◽  
Yongjun Zheng ◽  
Hong Yang ◽  
Lufang Zhao ◽  
Yuhan Bai ◽  
Xinghua Chen ◽  

By virtue of near-zero optical background and photobleaching, electrochemiluminescence (ECL), an optical phenomenon excited by electrochemical reactions, has drawn extensive attention in both fundamental studies and wide applications especially of ultrasensitive bioassay. Developing diverse ECL emitters is crucial to unlock their multiformity and performances, but remains a formidable challenge, due to the rigorous requirements for ECL. Herein, we report a general intramolecular ECL resonance energy transfer (iECL-RET) strategy to light up ECL-inactive dyes in aqueous solutions using an existing high-performance ECL initiators. As a proof-of-concept, a series of luminol donor-dye acceptor based ECL emitters with near unity RET efficiency and coarse/fine tunable emission wavelengths were demonstrated. Different to previous exploitation of new molecule single-handedly to address all the prerequisites of ECL, each unit in the proposed ECL ensemble performed maximally its own functions. The iECL-RET strategy would greatly expand the family members of ECL emitters for more demanding future applications.

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