A Simple and Low-cost Preliminary Quantification of Target Membrane Protein in Single Cells

  • Impact factors: 2.7
  • Publication: JOURNAL OF FLUORESCENCE
  • Author:Li Jiamin, Shi Meng, Geng Xuhui, Guan Yafeng
  • DOI citation-doi:10.1007/s10895-023-03496-6
  • Date:2023-11-17

To study the heterogeneity of target membrane proteins in single cells with cellular integrity, we proposed a simple and low-cost method to obtain the copy number of the membrane proteins. HeLa cells were labeled by FITC affinity bodies specifically targeting HER2 membrane proteins. The immunolabeled HeLa cells were quantified by a laboratory-built laser induced fluorescence detector. A series of fluorescent microspheres with known number of FITC molecules on the surface were used to establish the calibration curve, instead of the standard fluorescent solutions, because the morphology of the microspheres was similar to the cells, and the distribution of FITC on the spheres were similar to the distribution of HER2 on the HeLa. The fluorescence intensity of the cells was converted to the molecule number of HER2 by the calibration curve. A capillary electrophoresis system was used to drive the microspheres and cells through the detection window. The copy number of HER2 in HeLa cells ranged from 4,036 to 1,224,920 ± 100 (2.5–97.5%), and the median of copy numbers were 104,438 ± 100 per cell. This method for measuring low-abundance membrane proteins can be utilized for the initial exploration of proteomics in ordinary laboratories.

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