Super-Resolution Imaging and Quantitative Analysis of Membrane Protein/Lipid Raft Clustering Mediated by Cell-Surface Self-Assembly of Hybrid Nanoconjugates

Chembiochem. 2015 Aug 17;16(12):1725-9. doi: 10.1002/cbic.201500278. Epub 2015 Jul 2.


Super-resolution imaging was used to quantify organizational changes in the plasma membrane after treatment with hybrid nanoconjugates. The nanoconjugates crosslinked CD20 on the surface of malignant B cells, thereby inducing apoptosis. Super-resolution images were analyzed by using pair-correlation analysis to determine cluster size and to count the average number of molecules in the clusters. The role of lipid rafts was investigated by pre-treating cells with a cholesterol chelator and actin destabilizer to prevent lipid raft formation. Lipid raft cluster size correlated with apoptosis induction after treatment with the nanoconjugates. Lipid raft clusters had radii of ∼ 200 nm in cells treated with the hybrid nanoconjugates. Super-resolution images provided precise molecule location coordinates that could be used to determine density of bound conjugates, cluster size, and number of molecules per cluster.

Keywords: dSTORM; nanomedicine; nanotechnology; self-assembly.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Imaging*
  • Nanoconjugates / chemistry*


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Nanoconjugates