Dipyrromethene difluoride-cholesterol (TopFluor-Cholesterol, TF-Chol) is a widely used cholesterol analogue due to its excellent fluorescence properties and considerable similarity with natural cholesterol in terms of membrane partitioning. However, the suitability of TF-Chol for detecting lysosomal cholesterol deposition has recently been questioned. Here, we highlight the fact that the method of lipid delivery and the analysis of time-point both affect the membrane distribution and labeling pattern of TF-Chol, similarly as with radiolabeled cholesterol. Lysosomal sterol accumulation characteristic to a lysosomal storage disease is most readily detected when the probe is introduced via the physiological route, i.e. as a sterol fatty acid ester in low-density lipoprotein particles. When administered to cells from solvent, lysosomal sterol sequestration becomes evident after an overnight equilibration between membranes.
Keywords: BODIPY-cholesterol; Niemann-Pick type C disease; TF-cholesterol; cholesterol accumulation; lipid imaging.
© 2016 The Authors. Traffic published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.