Cell-derived vesicles for single-molecule imaging of membrane proteins

Faruk H. Moonschi, Amy K. Effinger, Xiaolu Zhang, William E. Martin, Ashley M. Fox, David K. Heidary, Jason E. DeRouchey, Christopher I. Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (SciVal)


A new approach is presented for the application of single-molecule imaging to membrane receptors through the use of vesicles derived from cells expressing fluorescently labeled receptors. During the isolation of vesicles, receptors remain embedded in the membrane of the resultant vesicles, thus allowing these vesicles to serve as nanocontainers for single-molecule measurements. Cell-derived vesicles maintain the structural integrity of transmembrane receptors by keeping them in their physiological membrane. It was demonstrated that receptors isolated in these vesicles can be studied with solution-based fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) and can be isolated on a solid substrate for single-molecule studies. This technique was applied to determine the stoichiometry of α3β4 nicotinic receptors. The method provides the capability to extend single-molecule studies to previously inaccessible classes of receptors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-484
Number of pages4
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 7 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.


  • Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy
  • Fluorescence microscopy
  • Single-molecule studies
  • Transmembrane proteins
  • Vesicles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry (all)


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